(2009) B.A. Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, US (2013) M.Sc. Brain and Cognitive Science, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
My primary research interests are in sleep, memory and the neurobiological substrates of memory consolidation, with a focus on the role of the prefrontal cortex. Offline memory consolidation during sleep is theorized to involve a transfer of information from short-term, hippocampus-dependent memory, to a more long-term, cortex-dependent memory allowing for new information to be integrated and synthesized with prior knowledge and experience. I am interested in understanding how this process occurs and what role factors present during learning, such as context, may have on later consolidation and recall. Some key questions for me are: What sort of information is the cortex most involved in consolidating? How does spatial information, known to play an influential role in memory in the hippocampus, influence consolidation in the cortex? Sleep consists of multiple stages (i.e. REM, Non-REM); how might these stages differentially contribute to memory consolidation? Can memory be manipulated by altering the amount of time spent in each stage? I use in-vivo rodent electrophysiology to probe these questions by looking at both population and single-cell activity during learning, sleep, and recall. Other interests of mine include understanding the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I'm generally interested in the nature of compulsion and how this relates to the philosophical problem of free will.
I am a PhD student in the Computational and Experimental Neuroscience Laboratory (Fellous Lab, amygdala.psychdept.arizona.edu/lab.html). I earned my B.A. from the University of California, San Diego where I studied philosophy, specializing in philosophy of neuroscience. I then traveled to the Netherlands where I worked in the Cognitive Science Center, Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience while completing a M.Sc. in Brain and Cognitive Science from the University of Amsterdam. After returning to the U.S. I moved to Tucson to begin work towards my PhD at the University of Arizona.
Keuken, M. C., Bazin, P.-L., Crown, L., Hootsmanns, J., Laufer, A., Mueller-Axt, C., Sier, R., van der Putten, E. J., Schaefer, A., Turner, R., & Forstmann, B. U. (2014). Quantifying Inter-Individual Anatomical Variability in the Subcortex using 7T Structural MRI. NeuroImage, 94, 40-46.
T.A. Psych 150: Introduction to Psychology
Sleep, Memory, Electrophysiology
EDUCATION 2011-2013 MSc. Brain and Cognitive Science, University of Amsterdam Primary Thesis: The Signal Attenuation Mouse Model of OCD Adapted for mice a behavioral model of OCD Secondary Thesis: Using 7 Tesla MRI to image the Globus Pallidus interna: striving towards brain atlases that account for inter-subject variability Literature thesis: How does OCD affect our conception of Free Will? 2006-2009 B.A. Philosophy, University of California, San Diego, Honors Focus: Philosophy of Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind RESEARCH EXPERIENCE 09/2014-current Graduate student, Computational and Experimental Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Arizona Characterizing the role of the rat medial prefrontal cortex in memory consolidation Internships 09/2012-09/2013 Graduate student researcher, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience Developed and validated a mouse model of OCD based on the signal attenuation rat model by Dauphine Joel (2001) Implemented the model in 24 wild type mice and 12 SAPAP-3 mutant mice Conducted a tracing study to elucidate pathways running through and around the internal capsule for optogenetics project 12/2011-7/2012 Graduate student research assistant, Cognitive Science Center, Amsterdam Manually segmented the globus pallidus interna/externa of 30 participants using FSL viewer for ultra high resolution 7T basal ganglia atlas Performed a comprehensive literature search and analysis of previously reported volume estimates of the GPi/GPe