Nikki wins Triple Crown-terion

Nikki Marinsek wins the first ever Miller lab criterion shift challenge! The Miller lab put their criterion shifting ability to the test by performing a memory recognition task with multiple probability manipulations at test. Nikki won in all three categories of best memory, highest percent correct, and most optimal criterion placement. If the Miller lab witnessed a crime, Nikki would be the most reliable eye-witness.

Benjamin Turner becomes Research Professor in Singapore

Ben Turner accepted an Assistant Professor position at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technical University in Singapore. Ben will conduct research in neuro-media studies while heading the neuro-imaging center at the University. Ben will be greatly missed in the Miller lab but his research in advancing fMRI statistical methods will be well suited for the growing interest of using fMRI in the field of communications.

Miller lab hosts student research through BUILD PODER

Nikki and Evan mentored two undergraduate students through the California State University, Northridge Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Promoting Opportunities for Diversity in Education and Research (PODER). Charlie Nettle and Yana Melchor-Martinez conducted neurostimulation studies during the 10-week summer BUILD PODER program.Charlie conducted a study to investigate whether inhibitory TMS stimulation to the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and inferior gyrus causes individuals to be more liberal with their memory-based decisions. Yana used tDCS to determine if current stimulation to the right or left prefrontal cortex can help or hinder belief updating propensities. Charlie and Yana presented their research findings in the form of a poster at a research symposium.

Evan Layher is a semi-finalist in the UCSB Grad Slam

Evan Layher made it to the semi-finals of the UC Santa Barbara Grad Slam competition. Grad slam is a competition across all departments where graduate students give a 3-minute talk about their research to a general audience. The winner of the competition receives $5,000 and competes at the UC-wide competition. Evan gave a talk about the influence of criterion shifting on recognition memory. Research assistant Anjali Dixit is shown here as a "suspect" to a crime.

Miller Lab moves to Psychology East basement

The Miller Lab gets a new lab space in the Psychology East basement. The lab is now conveniently located 5 feet from UC Santa Barbara's neurostimulation room, 30 feet from the Brain Imaging Center, and 300 yards from the beach. The essentials are just a short walk away.

Master's student researches in the lab through SABRE

The Miller Lab hosted Tsion Andine, a Master's student at Jackson State University, through the Institute of Collaborative Biotechnologies Applied Biotechnology Research Experience (SABRE) 10-week summer program. Under the mentorship of Evan Layher, Tsion used TMS to investigate whether a casual role exists between stimulating the inferior frontal gyrus and shifting a memory-based decision criterion. She presented her findings at the 2016 SABRE symposium.

High-school students conduct research in the lab

The Miller Lab hosted four high-school student interns as part of the six-week summer Research Mentorship Program (RMP). Natalie Hampton, Martin Hito, Stanley Lam, and Kara Portier conducted research under the supervision of their advisor Evan Layher. Natalie and Kara analyzed fMRI data to assess fronto-parietal activity associated with maintaining a conservative criterion for both memory and perceptual recognition. Martin and Stanley analyzed simultaneous EEG/fMRI data to discover EEG signals associated with maintaining a conservative versus liberal criterion. The students reported their findings in the form of a talk and a poster at the RMP research symposium.

Justin Kantner becomes Research Professor at CSUN

Justin Kantner is hired as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). He continues to study the neural dynamics of criterion shifting while teaching courses at CSUN. The Miller Lab is proud of Justin's accomplishments and knows he will continue to do great things in academia.

Jan Meyer is a visting graduate student (Netherlands)

Jan Meyer, a visiting graduate student from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, spends an academic year in the Miller Lab. Under the guidance of Nikki Marinsek, Jan investigated the hemispheric contributions of belief updating through transcranial magnetic stimulation of the inferior frontal gyrus.

Mike Miller selected to join the Defense Science Study Group

The Defense Science Study Group is a "program of education and study that introduces outstanding science and engineering professors to the United States’ security challenges and encourages them to apply their talents to these issues." Members of the Defense Group tour military bases and meet with top-level military personnel and politicians over the course of two years and identify ways in which to improve national security. The selection process is competitive and members are selected on the basis of "academic excellence, breadth of interests, references, consideration of discipline, and geographic distribution."

Mike is the first neuroscientist to ever join the group.

Amy Frithsen receives her PhD: go Amy!

Amy Frithsen received her doctoral degree in Psychology for her dissertation titled "The Parietal Cortex and Recognition Memory: Activity is Modulated by Changes in Task Demands." Amy is now a postdoctoral researcher in Craig Stark's lab at the University of California, Irvine where she is studying individuals with superior autobiographical memories (a lacking resource within the Miller Lab).

Nikki Marinsek receives NSF GRFP fellowship

The National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program "recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines." Selection is based on the intellectual merit and broader impacts of applicants' research proposal, personal accomplishments, and future career goals. The fellowship is very competitive and consists of a three-year annual stipend of $32,000.

Dr. Miller speaks at the Brain Initiative Symposium

At the Brain Initiative Symposium, Dr. Miller presented the lab's research on individual differences in brain activity and advised researchers to "consider the individual while mapping the brain." He noted that group maps of brain activity (constructed by averaging the brain activity of all subjects) are not representative of individual brain maps. Since individual differences are stable across time, Dr. Miller suggested researchers should consider and account for individual variability when trying to map the human brain. Click here to learn more about the Brain Initiative.

A new doctor is born: Congratulations Dr. Danielle King

The Miller Lab extends their deepest congratulations to Dr. Danielle King for earning her doctoral degree in Psychological and Brain Science. In June, Danielle King gave a talk on her dissertation research, “Patterns of brain activity associated with successful retrieval of memories of perceived and imagined events." Although her presence will be greatly missed here in the Miller Lab, we are excited for her as she begins her work as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Texas, Dallas under Dr. Michael D. Rugg.

Miller Lab presents at BAMM in SF

The Miller Lab traveled to the University of California, San Francisco to partake in the tenth annual Bay Area Memory Meeting (BAMM). We shared our research with fellow investigators studying memory and cognitive control from Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UCSF, USF, UC Berkeley, Martinez VA, UC Davis, and UCLA. Graduate students Nikki Marinsek and Jeanne Li presented posters and post-doctoral fellows Justin Kantner and Ben Turner gave talks.

High-school interns conduct research in the lab

The Miller Lab hosted two high-school student interns as part of the Research Mentorship Program. Vijiya Dasari, a rising junior from Memphis, Tennessee, and Connor Stephenson, a rising senior from Salem, Illinois, worked on two research projects along with their mentor, Nikki Marinsek. Vijiya tested how well the Bayesian model predicts subjects' behavior as they form and evaluate rules and Connor helped analyze neuroimaging data with the goal of uncovering the neural correlates of hypothesis formation and evaluation. During the six week program, the students wrote computer programs, collected behavioral data, analyzed neuroimaging or behavioral data, and got their brains scanned at our Brain Imaging Center. At the end of the program, the students gave a talk about their research and presented a poster at a research symposium.