Memory pervades virtually all human activities and in some sense identifies us as individuals. In my cognitive neuroscience approach, I apply neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to explore the brain processes underlying human memory. I am particularly interested in ways to improve memory, such as during student learning and as we grow older.
Recently, I've become interested in the psychology of art and aesthetics, and in particular the way movies drive our sensory, conceptual, and emotional processes. Through trial and error, filmmakers have developed techniques that capture our interest and emotions. Philosophers and film theorists have thought deeply about the aesthetics of movies, yet few scientists have conducted experiments that assess our movie experience. I have proposed 'psychocinematics' to describe this burgeoning research topic which seeks to define the psychological (and biological) underpinnings of this unique and popular form of entertainment