Browsing by Author "Madan, Christopher R."
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- ItemCerebellar tDCS alters the perception of optic flow(2021) Nankoo, Jean-François; Madan, Christopher R.; Medina, Omar; Makepeace, Tyler; Striemer, ChristopherStudies have shown that the cerebellar vermis is involved in the perception of motion. However, it is unclear how the cerebellum influences motion perception. tDCS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that can reduce (through cathodal stimulation) or increase neuronal excitability (through anodal stimulation). To explore the nature of the cerebellar involvement on large-field global motion perception (i.e., optic flow-like motion), we applied tDCS on the cerebellar midline while participants performed an optic flow motion discrimination task. Our results show that anodal tDCS improves discrimination threshold for optic flow perception, but only for left-right motion in contrast to up-down motion discrimination. This result was evident within the first 10 min of stimulation and was also found post-stimulation. Cathodal stimulation did not have any significant effects on performance in any direction. The results show that discrimination of optic flow can be improved with tDCS of the cerebellar midline and provide further support for the role of the human midline cerebellum in the perception of optic flow.
- ItemEffectiveness of the method of loci is only minimally related to factors that should influence imagined navigation(2019) Caplan, Jeremy B.; Legge, Eric; Cheng, Bevin; Madan, Christopher R.The method of loci is arguably the most famous mnemonic strategy and is highly effective for memorizing lists of non-spatial information in order. As described and instructed, this strategy apparently relies on a spatial/navigational metaphor. The user imagines moving through an environment, placing (study) and reporting (recall) list items along the way. However, whether the method relies critically on this spatial/navigation metaphor is unknown. An alternative hypothesis is that the navigation component is superfluous to memory success, and the method of loci is better viewed as a special case of a larger class of imagery-based peg strategies. Training participants on three virtual environments varying in their characteristics (an apartment, an open field, and a radial-arm maze), we asked participants to use each trained environment as the basis of the method of loci to learn five 11-word lists. Performance varied significantly across environment. However, the effects were small in magnitude. Further tests suggested that navigation-relevant knowledge and ability were not major determinants of success in verbal memory, even for participants who were confirmed to have been compliant with the strategy. These findings echo neuroimaging findings that navigation-based cognition does occur during application of the method of loci, but imagined navigation is unlikely to be directly responsible for its effectiveness. Instead, the method of loci may be best viewed as a variant of peg methods.