Monday, November 28, 2016

URSP Student Ariel Kalotkin Studies the Effects of Transracial Direct Current Stimulation to the Prefrontal Cortex

I became interested in the Oscar fellowship by being a part of an ongoing research group, studying the effects of transracial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the prefrontal cortex on complex dual task performance. From this research, I had decided that research was going to be a huge part on my life and more specifically the research I was assisting in continued to intrigue me and motivated me to pursue further questions in this area of study. This is how I developed the research project I am conducting now, determining if there is a method to anticipate how individuals learn to perform a complex task by visualizing the activity in the prefrontal cortex.

Throughout the week, I schedule several participants to come into the research lab and have them play several blocks of a complex cognitive videogame Warship Commander. These participants have the functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) on them, which is recording their brain activation levels. We will be using the data collected from the fNIRS as well as several individual differences, such as, Working memory capacity, personality, problem solving and videogame playing history in order to assess each individual. I have already learned and discovered so much from being a part of this program, for instance, I have learned to conduct a data analysis. Being a part of the OSCAR fellow program is allowing me to pursue research opportunities in my field of study. It is allowing me to advance my knowledge in addition to also preparing me for further research that I may conduct in graduate school or even beyond that.