Amy Overman co-authors journal article on brain and memory
The associate professor of psychology published a peer-reviewed article in the journal Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience.
Amy A. Overman, associate professor in the psychology department, faculty member in Elon's neuroscience program, and associate director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning, has published an article titled "The effects of item familiarity on the neural correlates of successful associative memory encoding."
The research reported in the paper used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the effect of prior studying on the ability to later link together information and remember it. The results suggest that prior exposure to items can reduce the demands incurred on neural processing throughout the associative encoding network of the brain and can enhance associative memory performance by focusing resources within brain regions supporting the formation of associative links.
The peer-reviewed article was co-authored with Nancy Dennis, Indira Turney and Christina Webb of Penn State University. The project is a product of an ongoing collaboration with Dennis through which Elon undergraduates have gained experience with fMRI research. The collaboration focuses on elucidating the contributions of medial temporal lobe structures, such as the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex, to associative memory and aligns with one of the main research priorities of Overman's lab, which is to understand neural and cognitive mechanisms by which memories are formed and how this process can be strengthened and applied in real-life settings.
The article was published in May for early access online in Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience (CABN). CABN is a highly-regarded neuroimaging journal known as "the leading vehicle for strongly psychologically motivated studies of brain–behavior relationships, through the presentation of papers that integrate psychological theory and the conduct and interpretation of the neuroscientific data." According to Journal Citation Reports, its most recent Impact Factor is 3.287, and it ranks eleventh out of 51 journals in the Behavioral Sciences subject category.