Lab Updates

Effectiveness of the method of loci is only minimally related to factors that should influence imagined navigation

“As described and instructed, this strategy apparently relies on a spatial/navigational metaphor. However, whether the method relies critically on this spatial/navigation metaphor is unknown. An alternative hypothesis is that the navigation component is superfluous to memory success, and the method of loci is better viewed as a special case of a larger class of imagery-based peg strategies.”

Keynote speaker at Aspects of Neuroscience 2019

Dr. Madan will be the keynote speaker for the cognitive session at Aspects of Neuroscience 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. His talk will be entitled: “The role of the hippocampus in memory for associations”.

Robust estimation of sulcal morphology

“Here we developed a computational approach for estimating sulcal width and depth that relies on cortical surface reconstructions output by FreeSurfer. While other approaches for estimating sulcal morphology exist, studies often require the use of multiple brain morphology programs that have been shown to differ in their approaches to localize sulcal landmarks, yielding morphological estimates based on inconsistent boundaries.”

Data visualization for inference in tomographic brain imaging

“Tomographic brain imaging has a rich iconography. Whilst figures are prepared for scientific communication (i.e., directed to other researchers) they also often end-up on magazine and journal covers (i.e., directed to a lay audience). Scientific figures should however not be just glossy illustrations of what is in the text.”

Invited seminars

Invited seminars

Recently gave invited seminars on brain morphology and innovative cognitive psychology methods at King’s College London, Toronto Western Hospital’s Krembil Institute, and InteraXon Inc.

(Photo taken at King’s College London.)

Reduced associative memory for negative information: impact of confidence and interactive imagery during study

“Although item-memory for emotional information is enhanced, memory for associations between items is often impaired for negative, emotionally arousing compared to neutral information. We tested two possible mechanisms underlying this impairment, using picture pairs: 1) higher confidence in one’s own ability to memorise negative information may cause participants to under-study negative pairs; 2) better interactive imagery for neutral pairs could facilitate associative memory for neutral pairs more than for negative pairs.”

Value bias of verbal memory

“A common finding is that items associated with higher reward value are subsequently remembered better than items associated with lower value. A confounding factor is that when a higher value stimuli is presented, this typically signals to participants that it is now a particularly important time to engage in the task. […] Results converged on null effects of value on subsequent free recall accuracy. Re-analyses attributed Madan et al.’s value-bias to competition between choice items that were paired during learning. Value may not bias memory if it does not signal task importance or induce inter-item competition.”

Cognitive Neuroscience Society Trainee Professional Development Panel

It was great to speak on the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Trainee Professional Development Panel last week!

Here’s a link to the write-up about the event: A Note to Worried Graduate Students: There’s Still Hope.

Special Issue for Cognition on Social, Motivational, and Emotional Influences on Memory

In this special issue, we seek submissions on the influence of social, motivational, and emotional processes on learning and memory. Submissions are invited that address any subtype of learning and memory. Multi-method (e.g., integrating behavioral, patient, computational, electrophysiological, or neural measures) and developmental approaches are of particular interest.

Boon, bias or bane? The potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decision-making

“No formal investigations have been conducted into the efficacy or potential influence of reviewer recommendations on editorial decisions, and the impact of this on the expectations and behaviour of authors, reviewers and journal editors. This article addresses key questions about this critical aspect of the peer review submission process. We suggest several future steps which could be taken towards improving the review process and make it more transparent, better understood, and fairer for all parties.”

CNS 2019 Trainee Professional Development Panel

Monday, March 25th, 5:45 - 7:15 pm, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Hotel

“Panelists this year are Dr. Laura Libby (Data Scientist at Uber), Dr. Maureen Ritchey (Boston College), Dr. Christopher Madan (University of Nottingham), Dr. Erika Nyhus (Bowdoin College), and Dr. David Ziegler (UCSF).”