Memory and evaluation

Preferences and judgements are unstable. Understanding how memory contributes to evaluations helps to explain this instability. Retrieving samples from memory is a critical tool for decision-making.

We are constantly encoding information; however, relatively little of that information is eventually consolidated and stored in memory. In order to be adaptive, memory must be selective and prioritise information that is relevant to future decisions. There are many ways in which reward can affect the consolidation of newly learned material. For example, students studying for exams may be actively focusing their attention and resources to promote certain items in memory (motivated learning). In other situations the value of the information is more incidental; for example, a child might enjoy interacting with a new object and therefore be more likely to remember its name (incidental learning). Sleep is a primacy mechanism by which items are integrated and consolidated in memory but how does it affect the consolidation of rewarded items in both incidental and motivated learning?

Obesity and impulsitivity

During my post at the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit at the University of Bristol I worked on several projects examining the role of satiety reward in food choice.

You can read a bit more about our latest study looking at future choices and obesity here.

Risk-taking, memory and Parkinson’s disease

More coming soon…