Learning new skills depend on changes in the underlying neural activity, and in many cases, are improved by active engagement of the learner. What large-scale changes in cortical encoding underlie perceptual learning? How does norepinephrine, a key neuromodulator involved in cognitive alertness, influence cortical circuits to promote perceptual learning? Our experiments will advance the science of learning toward an integrated view of the neurobiological basis of perceptual learning. Project results may facilitate development of methods for improving learning by directed manipulations of neuromodulatory systems in normal and diseased brains.
This project bridges educational theory and novel techniques from artificial intelligence engineering and machine translation to develop a new web-based foreign language-learning platform. The research will produce novel, technology-driven learning experiences that, if successful, will provide new means of teaching foreign languages.
This project integrates methodological and conceptual expertise on neural plasticity and circadian rhythms to understand the cellular mechanisms underlying daily fluctuations in learning. Besides providing a cellular understanding for circadian variations in learning, findings of this research may have significant implications for understanding learning deficits in schizophrenia and autism.