I am a cognitive neuroscientist, interested in emotional cognition - the effect that emotional value has on our cognitive system. I am the director of the Emotional Cognition Lab. The core of my research is the emotional value of the events that we experience. To induce emotional value in the lab I use monetary reward, pain and taste stimuli, and pictures that depict distressing scenes. My aim is to understand how our brains convert such input to neural representation of value and subjective feelings.
My main focus is on how the emotional value of experience influences later memory for these experiences. Emotional experiences are very different from neutral ones - for example, we pay more attention to them, and their links with other emotional experiences is readily apparent. Many aspects of what makes emotional experience unique will influence later memory for the experience, be it through its influences on encoding, storage, or retrieval. I would like to understand how these influences work together to change what we remember.