Physical fitness and memory
Aerobic exercise has been shown to be beneficial for various forms of cognition, including episodic and working memory. Several ongoing projects in the lab are investigating whether and how aerobic fitness relates to memory performance in both older and younger adults. Additionally, we are examining the relationship memory and other forms of exercise, such as resistance training and high intensity interval training.
Caffeine and memory
Caffeine's stimulating effects on the nervous system and its ability to increase wakefulness and attention are well characterized. The degree to which caffeine affects episodic memory remains underspecified, however. In an ongoing series of studies, we aim to better understand caffeine's influence on memory encoding, consolidation, and retrieval in young adults, with an emphasis on caffeine's effects on false or distorted memories.
Memory and technology use
As mobile devices become increasingly popular, what impact, if any, is such technology use having on cognition? Several studies in the lab are investigating whether and how technology use impacts episodic memory. For example, does the mere presence of a cell phone impact our ability to encode new information? Is the use of apps that encourage relaxation more beneficial to memory consolidation than those that require active cognitive engagement?
Functional MRI meta-analysis
With the recent increase in freely available data analysis tools and neuroimaging databases, it is now possible for CLIMB members to analyze existing functional MRI (fMRI) datasets, as well as to perform fMRI meta-analyses. For example, we are currently using GingerALE to conduct an fMRI meta-analysis of neural changes in major depressive disorder relating to emotion regulation.