Lab Updates

Great things can be done with open data

Two new papers published recently, based on analyses of the HCP Young Adults dataset.

The first was led by Ian McDonough and focused on differences in brain function and structure related to dementia risk: “Young adults with a parent with dementia show early abnormalities in brain activity and brain volume in the hippocampus: A matched case-control study”.

The second was led by Carly McIntyre-Wood and James MacKillop, examining individual differences in delay discounting in relation to brain structure: “Neuroanatomical foundations of delayed reward discounting decision making II: Evaluation of sulcal morphology and fractal dimensionality”.

Science of Learning Strategy Series: Article 3, Interleaving

The third article in an on-going series in the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions is now out.

“Interleaving is an evidence-based, learning-science strategy that is relevant to the planning and implementation of continuing professional development (CPD). Mixing related but different areas of study forces the brain to reconcile the relationship between the areas while understanding each area well.”

Project NeuroSync

Dr. Madan is now collaborating on Project NeuroSync, lead by Sobana Wijeakumar.

“Project NeuroSync is a newly funded research project in the Infant and Toddler Lab in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham. It is run by a multi-disciplinary team of psychology researchers and neuroscientists interested in child development. In this project, we are interested in how babies respond to, learn to interact with and eventually, ‘fall into sync’ with their mothers. To this end, we will use experimental games, brain scanning equipment, head-mounted cameras and questionnaires to understand how babies ‘fall into sync’ with their mothers.”

BACN Publicity Officer

Dr. Madan is now the Publicity Officer for the British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience (BACN)!

The next annual meeting will be held at the University of Birmingham, 24-25 May 2022.

Approaching the PhD thesis and viva: Clarifying expectations and enhancing preparations

New paper, providing advice on preparing for a PhD thesis and viva, now out in Cognitive Psychology Bulletin!

“Research involves iteratively learning to use certain academic skills with increased proficiency, such as searching the literature, conducting statistical analyses, and clearly communicating ideas in scientific writing. However, the ultimate expression of these skills is only carried out once—the PhD thesis and viva. […] Here I outline four particularly beneficial resources that current PhD students can read to clarify their expectations and enhance their preparations.”

How emotion influences the details recalled in autobiographical memory

New paper out, in collaboration with Dr. Daniela Palombo and students in her lab.

“The present study investigated the influence of emotion (positive and negative) on detail generation in autobiographical memory across two retention intervals; recent (≲3 months old) and remote (~1–5 years old). We found that the number of perceptual details recalled did not differ for emotional versus neutral autobiographical memories in either time period. By contrast, emotion exerted effects on autobiographical memory for other types of details—a pattern that differed depending on both the age and valence of the memories. We discuss these findings in turn.”

Sleeplessness and anxiety: PhD supervisors on toll of COVID pandemic

Dr. Madan has been quoted in a Nature article highlighting a recent survey of PhD supervisors.

Psychonomic 2021 Annual Meeting

Several presentations!

(285) Making Memories that Matter: Considering Motivated and Strategic Memory Processes - Madan

(1207) Predicting Trial-and-Error Learning from the Feedback-Related Negativity - Chakravarty
(1209) Fractionating the Reward-Memory Literature - Simonsen
(1440) The Effect of Aging and Mnemonics on Name Recall - Gopi
(2393) Impact of Performing a Secondary Task on Recall and Recall Dynamics - Zhang

How does caffeine influence memory? Drug, experimental, and demographic factors

Congratulations to Ruo-Chong Zhang on her first first-authored paper!

“Caffeine is a widely used nootropic drug, but its effects on memory in healthy participants have not been sufficiently evaluated. Here we review evidence of the effects of caffeine on different types of memory, and the associated drug, experimental, and demographical factors. […] For drug factors, a dose-response relationship may exist but findings are inconsistent. Moreover, there is evidence that the source of caffeine can modulate its effects on memory.”

Memory Disorders Research Society

Dr. Christopher Madan has just been elected to the Memory Disorders Research Society (MDRS).

MDRS is a by-invitation-only professional society dedicated to the study of memory.

Psychonomic Society Early Career Award

“The Psychonomic Society congratulates Christopher R. Madan (University of Nottingham) on receiving this year’s PS Early Career Award! The award honors scientists who have made excellent contributions to cognitive psychology early in their careers.”

How Can a Supervisor Support PhD Students In Transitioning To Industry?

Dr. Madan spoke with Natalia of Odyssey Careers for their “Career Talks” series about how PhD supervisors can support PhD students in considering non-academic careers.