Essoe et al. (2017) CNS Poster

Poster to be presented at CNS 2017

Poster E90, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse.

Download poster.

Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting, 2017 @ beautifully foggy San Francisco, CA.

Abstract

Long-term retention of vocabulary in two phonetically similar foreign languages is aided when learning occurs in highly distinctive virtual reality environments*

Joey Ka-Yee Essoe, Nicco Reggente, Ai Ohno, Hera Youn-Ji Baek, Jesse Rissman

The environmental context in which a memory is encoded can impact its later accessibility by virtue of tagging the memory with unique retrieval cues. We examined whether distinctive virtual environments (VEs) could be used as a means to provide contextual support during the learning of two sets of easily confusable stimuli. Specifically, we taught participants the translations of 50 English words in two pre-experimentally unfamiliar languages: 10 were learned only in Swahili, 10 only in Chinyanja, and 30 in both languages. Participants in the Dual Context group learned each language in a different VE, whereas participants in the Single Context group learned both languages in the same VE. On Day 2, after the fourth VE learning session, participants’ ability to recall the Swahili and Chinyanja translations of the English words was tested outside of the VEs. One week later (Day 8), participants were reached by telephone and performed a surprise recall test assessing their long-term retention of the foreign words. Our results revealed that while the Single and Dual Context groups showed comparable recall performance when tested on Day 2, the Dual Context group exhibited significantly reduced forgetting when tested on Day 8. This finding showcases how distinctive learning contexts can protect newly acquired memories from succumbing to excessive interference and promote long-term retention. An additional fMRI dataset collected from a separate group of Dual Context participants during Day 2 cued recall should provide further insights into the mechanisms that underlie their memory advantage.

*Yes, I am sorry about the looooong title. I don’t know what I was thinking. Never again.

Participants Wanted: Learning in VR

General information for prospective participants

Compensation:

Each participant may only participate in ONE of the following 3 versions.
Version 1: $20 in cash.
Version 2: $30 in cash.
Version 3: $50 in cash (participant may also request an image of their brain!)

Compensation will be dispensed upon completion of the session.
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Participants Wanted: Avatar Learning in Virtual Environments (ALIVE) 2016

For fMRI session: $20/hour. fMRI version pays $80-100 in cash, and you will get a picture of your brain!
For Lab session: $10/hour, lab-only version pays between $50-70 in cash.
Compensation will be dispensed upon completion of the last session.

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An Illustrative Guide to Statistical Power, Alpha, Beta, and Critical Values

From my interactions with undergraduate students, it seems that even though these definitions are easy to recite, they are difficult to be integrated into a comprehensive whole. I hope here to show how to conceptually integrate them into a cohesive picture.

This post was originally created for Psychology in Action, and edited by her new blog master, Tawny Tsui. See her posts here.

Everything begins with reality: the “Reality Continuum”

PowerAlpha1I call this green line “Reality Continuum” (rather grand, no?) because you will take your ideas, and do a reality check against it via data analysis (within the traditional statistical framework–it is definitely NOT the only framework on the market, but I digress).

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Daniel Lin Presents: Effects of Sleep Quality on Virtual Reality Learning

Lin, D.,  Essoe, J. K-Y, Tran, J., Zhou, J., Mutter, J., Frostig, D., Yang, J., Reggente, N., Rissman, J. (2014, May). The Effects of Sleep Quality on Virtual Reality Learning and Overnight Forgetting. Poster presented at the 23rd Annual Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Lin_Essoe_Rissman-PURC2014-SleepQuality_&_VR_Learning

Click here to download PDF

On Christ, Anxiety, and Waiting (in Academia)

More than most of us are willing to admit, the life of an academic and scientist consists of much waiting.

Some do this better than others; I am not, by nature, one of them.

Many times I have been weighted down by the anxiety of waiting: for graduate school acceptance letters, for getting a grant for my research, and for graduate research fellowship funding, etc.

It is now the season of waiting to hearing from graduate schools (the tail end of that), fellowship applications, job search for new graduates, etc. It is lent, too, though I am not of the Catholic tradition.

The following is probably the most personal post I have attempted. I will share how the Holy Spirit ministers to me through the Bible in hopes that it would help minister to you in such seasons. Especially for those of you whom Jesus has called to be a missionary in the scientific fields–the prevalence of Christians in these fields could probably qualify them as unreached people groups! (Perhaps with the exception of physics and mathematics by reputation? But I have no stats, and it is neither here or there.)

These are not trite statements, but came both from seasons of waiting that turned out to be “successful” and “unsuccessful.” Amazing that the Spirit gave me the same comfort prior to both. Humbling too, that He has to do this repeatedly for me [chuckle]. I am the “chief of sinners” and still learning this, repeatedly.

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ALIVE featured in “I Love UCLA” video contest entry!

Directed by Andrew Butte, this is an entry for UCLA Fund’s 4th video contest “I Love UCLA.”

@ about 30s in, Daniel Lin, our Undergraduate Project Leader was in the video greeting the view-point character, then the latter explored our UnderSea Campus 😀

Fun stuff.

Odds Are: On the difference between odds, probability, and risk ratio.

Odds, Probability, Chance, Risks: Interchangeable?
Not so much.

What does it mean to say “smokers are X times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers?” What about
when the weather channel says, “there is a 10% chance of rain?” The odds of 1 to 10 of winning?

These words are often used in casual conversations as somewhat interchangeable, and can be rather confusing. I remember being very excited to learn about them for the first time, so hopefully you will find this as interesting (or at least as clarifying!) as I did!

A little test!

odds-in-your-favor

In which of the following scenario are you most likely to find dessert happiness? Which ones are saying the same thing?

A. The odds against you eating a cupcake are 1 to 5.

B. Your odds of/on eating a cupcake are 1 to 5.

C. The probability of you eating a cupcake is 20%.

D. You have a 20% chance of eating a cupcake.

Answers, in short: A is the most likely-for-cupcake scenario, and C and D are saying the same thing.

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Participants Needed: Avatar Learning in Virtual Environments (ALIVE)

This study has concluded as of Winter 2015.

General information for prospective participants

.

Compensation:

$10/hour, Minimum $50. Paid on Day 18 in Cash.

Up to 5 Psychology SONA credits.
If participation exceeds 6 hours, the remainder will be paid in cash as described above.

You may opt to receive a combination of cash and credit for your participation.
e.g. I f you only need 2 SONA credits, you can get the two credits and $30 in cash.

Please inform your researcher of your compensation preference during scheduling.

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Niccotron: to host ALIVE’s OpenSim server!

Nicco put together this machine while I served as his package opener.

It is so pretty… and awesome.

Oculus Rift + OpenSim = I love my job!

Guess who is gonna have a jolly good time? (Or get incredibly sick)….

I LOVE MY WORK SO SO SO MUCH.

Thank you, David Rowe, the one-man team in CtrlAlt Studio that created the first and best (and only!) Rift-compatible OpenSim Viewer!

Oryon Essoe: OpenSim Avatar

Oryon Essoe: OpenSim Avatar

Meet Oryon Essoe, Prime Minister of Rissland. He works day and night to make Rissland a participant-friendly research space.

He is very smug because he built a classroom space in a tree-house today.

 

Multitasking Video Game Improves Cognition in 79-year-olds!

My first article for Psychology In Action 😀 “Multitasking Video Game Improves Cognition in 79-year-olds!” re NeuroRacer.

Read the complete post in PsychInAction.org!

Today, Nature published evidence that training on a multitasking video game improved older adults’ cognitive ability beyond the scope of the game to untrained aspects of cognition.

The article featured a four-year research led by Drs. Adam Gazzaley and Joaquin Anguera in UCSF. They utilised a relatively simple video game, NeuroRacer to train older adults on multitasking. NeuroRacer requires participants to drive a cartoon car, and to respond to relevant signs as they appear: simulating a day-to-day scenario of driving and responding to traffic signals or street signs.

A long-lasting plight for cognitive ageing scientists has been the lack of “Transfer” in training tools. That is, training can reliably improve older adults’ performance on the tasks they are trained on; sometimes they even exceed their younger counterparts. However, these changes all too often do not transfer to other tasks that utilise different aspects of cognition (“Cognitive Domains”).

… Read the complete post

 

Dr. Jesse Rissman receives DARPA Young Faculty Award!

Proud to congratulate my mentor, Dr. Jesse Rissman for receiving DARPA Young Faculty Award!

This grant funds our virtual reality project, ALIVE (Avatar Learning In Virtual Environment).

Article by DARPA: ELITE GROUP OF YOUNG SCIENTISTS EMBARK ON DARPA RESEARCH EFFORTS

Article on UCLA Toda

Dr. Jesse Rissman receiving DARPA YFA from Dr. William Casebeer

Jesse receiving DARPA YFA from Dr. William Casebeer

OpenSim: Rissland’s Welcome Area

A virtual environment created for learning and memory research in the Behavioural Neuroscience Area of the Psychology Department in UCLA.

The project is called Avatar Learning In Virtual Environment (ALIVE), sponsored by DARPA. It is conducted in Dr. Jesse Rissman’s Memory Laboratory, by his graduate students Joey K.-Y. Essoe and Niccolo Reggente.

Rissland is created by Essoe utilising OpenSim’s Diva Distro, customising various free contents courtesy of the OpenSim community.

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