Congrats to Sarah Irons a 2nd year graduate student in the Fischer-Baum Lab for winning a Psychonomic Society/Women in Cognitive Science Travel and Networking Award for Junior Scientists.

This award is for women cognitive scientists from the level of graduate student, post-doc or assistant professor to allow them to become known in the professional community and to develop collaborative relationships with other professionals in the field. The fact that Sarah won it at such an early stage in her career is a testament to her promise as a cognitive scientist!

Cognitive Network Neuroscience

The Neuroplasticity Lab, in collaboration with Michael Deem‘s group from Rice Bioengineering, has recently published two papers linking individual differences brain network organization to cognitive abilities.

The first, Brain Modularity Mediates the Relation between Task Complexity and Performance, published in the September issue of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience with Qiuhai Yue as the first author, demonstrates that individuals with highly modular brains perform better a single cognitive tasks, like attentional cueing, while individuals with less modular brains perform better on complex cognitive tasks, like complex working memory spans.

The second, Static and Dynamic Measures of Human Brain Connectivity Predict Complementary Aspects of Human Cognitive Performance, just published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience with Aurora Ramos Nuñez as the first author, demonstrates a strong relationship between two measures of individual brain networks (flexibility and modularity), while furthermore that each measures makes a unique contributions to explaining task performance.

Trainee news

First, we are enormously excited for research scientist Aurora Ramos Nunez, who has moved on to her first faculty position at the College of Coastal Georgia. We will miss her enormously.

Congratulations to Hao Yan (a graduate student in Randi Martin’s Lab) for successfully defending his dissertation “Sentence processing in aphasic speakers with short-term memory deficits:Interactions between structural and lexical processing” – he will start a job at Facebook in September!

Congrats also go out to Qiuhai Yue (Martin Lab) for receiving a Dingwall Dissertation Fellowship in the Cognitive, Clinical, and Neural Foundations of Language.

Finally, congrats to Colin Noe (Fischer-Baum Lab) for being admitted to the Rice Neuroengineering IGERT program.


Levels of representation in reading!

New paper from Fischer-Baum Lab available online at Cortex. Using representational similarity analysis, we mapped the transformation between different levels of representation during the course of single word reading. Thanks and congrats to the many undergraduate students who were involved in this project and have since graduated or left the lab (Emilio Tamez, Dorrie Bruggemann, Donald SP Li & Ivan Gallego)!

New paper in Frontiers in Psychology!

Yingying Tan (former Graduate Student, now a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and Randi Martin (along with Julie Van Dyke from Haskins Laboratory) have a new paper in Frontiers in Psychology (Semantic and Syntactic Interference in Sentence Comprehension: A Comparison of Working Memory Models). In this paper, they take an individual difference approach to testing competing theories for the role of working memory in sentence comprehension.

New paper in Neural Plasticity!

The Fischer-Baum Lab just published a paper in a special issue of the journal Neural Plasticity on the Neuroplasticity of the Language Network. In the paper, “The Cognitive Neuroplasticity of Reading Recovery following Chronic Stroke: A Representational Similarity Analysis Approach,” we developed a new method for mapping cognitive functions in the damaged brain following stroke and applied this novel method to a single case study of an individual with an acquired reading disorder. The results provide clear evidence for functional takeover – that is that certain brain regions have reorganized and changed their associated function following stroke.

It was written by Simon, along with former lab manager, current UMass Graduate Student David Kajander and former undergraduate RA Ava Jang.