Human cognition is best understood in terms of a set of inter-connected functional neural systems. There is a huge need for functional schematics and functional anatomical maps of these systems and I have taken up this challenge. Anyone who likes to draw and is interested in neuroscience will find this work very rewarding.
Our understanding of human cognition has many important practical implications for the area of education. I am doing classroom based experiments that test instructional methodologies that improve academic performance. I now have a massive amount of data from 10 years of experiment that I must analyze by fitting the data to mathematical models. Anyone who is willing to perform the tedious but essential task of downloading the data and organizing it in a spreadsheet format for further analysis will find this work rewarding.
When we see or hear, our brains are transforming information from one form into another. So our brains are information processing systems, just like computers are. Computers can electronically perform operations much faster than our brains. But the procedures that our brains use for transforming information are much faster and more efficient than those currently used by computers. Describing the procedures that the brain uses to encode and retrieve information is the goal of my research. Students who enjoy mathematics and/or computer programming who are interested in how the mind works should find this work fascinating.
Research at the Learning and Memory Laboratory is supported by the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation