I’m a third year PhD student in the Psychology department at UC San Diego Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. My research interests include the what are the best ways to learn, why those are the best ways, and can I build computational models to predict what people will learn.
BS in Psychology, 2017
Michigan State Univeristy
BS in Neuroscience, 2017
Michigan State University
We explored the possibility that publication bias in the explicit motor sequence learning literature significantly inflates estimates of the sleep-specific performance gains, potentially leading researchers to falsely conclude that there is sleep-specific neural consolidation of that skill. We applied PET-PEESE weighted regression analyses to the 88 effect sizes that were included in a recent, comprehensive literature review. Basic PET analysis indicated pronounced publication bias; i.e., the effect sizes were strongly predicted by their standard error. When predictor variables that have been shown to both moderate the sleep gain effect and reduce unaccounted for effect size heterogeneity were included in that analysis, evidence for publication bias remained strong; the estimated post-sleep gain was negative, raising the possibility of forgetting rather than facilitation, and it was statistically indistinguishable from the estimated post-wake gain. In a qualitative review of a smaller group of more recent studies we observed that (1) small sample sizes – a major factor behind the publication bias in the earlier literature – are still the norm, (2) use of demonstrably flawed experimental design and analysis remains prevalent, and (3) when authors conclude in favor of sleep-specific consolidation, they do not cite the papers in which those methodological flaws have been demonstrated. Recommendations are made for reducing publication bias in future work on this topic.
In three experiments we investigated how the level of study-based, episodic knowledge influences the efficacy of subsequent retrieval practice (testing) as a learning event. Possibilities are that the efficacy of a test, relative to a restudy control, decreases, increases, or is independent of the degree of prior study-based learning. The degree of study-based learning was manipulated by varying the number of item repetitions in the initial study phase between one and eight. Predictions of the dual-memory model of test-enhanced learning for the case of one study-phase repetition were used as a reference. Results support the hypothesis that the advantage of testing over restudy is independent of the degree of prior episodic learning, and they suggest that educators can apply cued-recall testing with the expectation that its efficacy is similar across varying levels of prior content learning. Implications for testing effect theory are discussed.
There are vast individual differences in reading achievement between students. Besides structural and functional variability in domain-specific brain regions, these differences may partially be explained by the organization of domain-general functional brain networks. In the current study we used resting-state functional MRI data from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (PNC; N = 553; ages 8–22) to examine the relation between per- formance on a well-validated reading assessment task, the Wide Range Achievement Word Reading Test (WRAT- Reading) and patterns of functional connectivity. We focused specifically on functional connectivity within and between networks associated with cognitive control, and investigated whether the relationship with academic test performance was mediated by cognitive control abilities. We show that individuals with higher scores on the WRAT-Reading, have stronger lateralization in frontoparietal networks, increased functional connectivity be- tween dorsal striatum and the dorsal attention network, and reduced functional connectivity between dorsal and ventral striatum. The relationship between functional connectivity and reading performance was mediated by cognitive control abilities (i.e., performance on a composite measure of executive function and complex cogni- tion), but not by abilities in other domains, demonstrating the specificity of our findings. Finally, there were no significant interactions with age, suggesting that the observed brain-behavior relationships stay relatively stable over the course of development. Our findings provide important insights into the functional significance of inter- individual variability in the network architecture of the developing brain, showing that functional connectivity in domain-general control networks is relevant to academic achievement in the reading domain.
Psychosis spectrum disorders are conceptualized as neurodevelopmental disorders accompanied by disruption of large-scale functional brain networks. Dynamic functional dysconnectivity has been described in patients with schizophrenia and in help-seeking individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis. Less is known, about developmental aspects of dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) associated with psychotic symptoms (PS) in the general population. Here, we investigate resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data using established dFNC methods in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort (ages 8–22 years), including 129 participants experiencing PS and 452 participants without PS (non-PS). Functional networks were identified using group spatial independent component analysis. A sliding window approach and k-means clustering were applied to covariance matrices of all functional networks to identify recurring whole-brain connectivity states. PS-associated dysconnectivity of default mode, salience, and executive networks occurred only in a few states, whereas dysconnectivity in the sensorimotor and visual systems in PS youth was more pervasive, observed across multiple states. This study provides new evidence that disruptions of dFNC are present even at the less severe end of the psychosis continuum in youth, complementing previous work on help-seeking and clinically diagnosed cohorts that represent the more severe end of this spectrum.