Sarah DuBrow

Assistant Professor, Psychology
Member, ION

Ph.D. NYU Department of Psychology


Research Interests:  Cognitive Neuroscience, Learning, Memory, Decision Making

Overview: Why does our subjective experience of the world feel structured when, in fact, it is continuous? How do our internal and external states influence this structure? Research in the DuBrow lab seeks to understand how we learn the structure of our environments and how we use that structure to organize our memories and guide our decisions. Using neuroimaging methods, we investigate how neural representations can mirror the true structure of the external world, and, at the same time, distort that structure to achieve behavioral goals. By mapping between the brain and behavior, we hope to shed light on fundamental organizing principles in human cognition.


Related Articles

A common mechanism underlying choice's influence on preference and memory.

Psychon Bull Rev. 2019 Aug 19;:

Authors: DuBrow S, Eberts EA, Murty VP

Individual control over learning leads to better memory outcomes, yet it is still unclear which aspects of control matter. One's sense of agency could be a key component, but it can be challenging to dissociate it from its consequences on the environment. Here we used a paradigm in which participants in one condition had the opportunity to choose between cues (choice condition) and in another were instructed which cue to select (fixed condition). Because the cues had no effect on the memoranda, we could isolate the effect of choice on memory. Participants also rated the cues for preference before and after encoding, allowing us to test how the number of times a cue was chosen affected its preference. By pooling multiple behavioral studies, we were able to use an individual differences approach to examine the relationship between choice effects on preference and memory. Replicating previous work, we found that immediate and delayed (24-h) recognition memory was higher for items encountered in the choice condition. We also found that cues that were selected more often increased their preference in the choice condition, but actually decreased their preference in the fixed condition, suggesting that choice engaged value-related processes. Critically, we found a positive across-subjects relationship between choice memory enhancements and choice-induced preference change for delayed but not for immediate memory. These data suggest that a shared value-based mechanism enhances preference for choice cues and memory consolidation of the choice outcomes. Thus, the value of choice may play an important role in learning enhancements.

PMID: 31429061 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]