Lab Updates

Teaching the science of learning

“The science of learning has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of effective teaching and learning strategies. However, few instructors outside of the field are privy to this research. In this tutorial review, we focus on six specific cognitive strategies that have received robust support from decades of research: spaced practice, interleaving, retrieval practice, elaboration, concrete examples, and dual coding. We describe the basic research behind each strategy and relevant applied research, present examples of existing and suggested implementation, and make recommendations for further research that would broaden the reach of these strategies.”

Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS): design and first-year review

New paper in PeerJ CS, providing an overview of the first year at JOSS!

“This article describes the motivation, design, and progress of the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS). JOSS has the dual goals of improving the quality of the software submitted and providing a mechanism for research software developers to receive credit.”

Predicting age from cortical structure across the lifespan

New paper on fractal dimensionality and age-related differences in brain structure, with Elizabeth Kensinger (Boston College).

“This study assessed how accurately an individual’s age could be predicted by estimates of cortical morphology, comparing a variety of structural measures, including thickness, gyrification and fractal dimensionality.”

Justify your alpha

“In response to recommendations to redefine statistical significance to P ≤ 0.005, we propose that researchers should transparently report and justify all choices they make when designing a study, including the alpha level.”

Prototypical actions with objects are more easily imagined than atypical actions

“Tool use is an important facet of everyday life, though sometimes it is necessary to use tools in ways that do not fit within their typical functions. Here we asked participants to imagine characters using objects based on instructions that fit the prototypical actions for the object or were atypical in a novel object-action imagery task.”

APS Rising Star 2017

Dr. Christopher Madan was recognised by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) with a Rising Star award. This award is presented to outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-PhD.

Visual complexity and affect: Ratings reflect more than meets the eye

New paper out with Tobias Sommer and colleagues at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

“Prior studies have reported a relationship between affect and visual complexity, where complex pictures are rated as more pleasant and arousing. However, a relationship in the opposite direction, an effect of affect on visual complexity, is also possible; emotional arousal and valence are known to influence selective attention and visual processing.”

Funding received!

Funding received!

Funding recieved for a project in collaboration with Daniela Palombo (University of British Columbia) and Rosanna Olsen (University of Toronto).

Shape-related characteristics of age-related differences in subcortical structures

New brain morphology work, further examining the utility of fractal dimensionality in underanding aging. Now published in Aging & Mental Health.

Could sharing research data propel scientific discovery?

Interview with Dr. Madan on using open data in brain morphology research.

“open-access data can allow for access to populations that may otherwise be unfeasible to recruit — such as middle-age adults, patients, and individuals from other geographic regions.”

Interested in studying human memory?

Interested in studying memory, or otherwise working with me? (Or know someone else who might be…) Let me know!

Motivated cognition: Effects of reward, emotion, and other motivational factors across a variety of cognitive domains

“This brief review[…] provides an amazing overview of research on motivation and cognition and an almost astounding number of citations”