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.
The Miller lab flew to Boston to present at the 25th annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) meeting. Evan and Tyler found Charlie who worked in the lab over the summer through the BUILD PODER program.
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.
Christina Boardman, a visiting graduate student from the University of Strasbourg in France, spends an academic year in the Miller Lab. With the help of Evan Layher, Christina is investigating EEG signals associated with maintaining a conservative vs. liberal criterion.
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 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.
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.
The Miller Lab drove to San Francisco to present research findings at the 24th annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) meeting. Nikki Marinsek, Evan Layher, and Ben Turner presented posters at the conference.
Brian Lopez is hired as a faculty member at Fullerton College. He teaches psychology and statistics courses as a professor. The Miller Lab is excited for Brian's achievements and believe he will be a source of inspiration to the students he teaches.
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.
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.
The Miller Lab flew to the Big Apple to present research results at the 23rd annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) meeting. Graduate students Nikki Marinsek and Evan Layher presented posters at the conference.
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, 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.
Evan Layher becomes a Ph.D. student in the Miller Lab. He completed his undergraduate degree at UC Davis in 2012 and worked as a research specialist for 3 years studying memory impairment in people with schizophrenia.
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.
Nikki is one of four UCSB students selected to attend the 65th Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany. 650 young researchers from around the world and 69 Nobel Laureates in Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine & Physiology will attend the meeting. The week-long meeting will consist of lectures by the Nobel Laureates, small discussion groups, and social activities.
The Miller Lab traveled to San Francisco to present at the 22nd annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) meeting.
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).
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.
The Miller Lab traveled to Boston, MA to present at the 21st annual Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) meeting.
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.
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.
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.
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.