Center of Excellence for Learning in Education, Science and Technology A National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center

Nichola Rice Cohen

Nichola Rice CohenNichola Rice Cohen received her MA in Psychology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland and her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Durham University in England. She completed a one year postdoc at Dartmouth College before moving to Brandeis University in 2006 for her second postdoc, in the laboratory of Robert Sekuler.

Prior to becoming a CELEST member, Nichola’s research focused on how brain regions contribute to motor behavior, including obstacle avoidance and grasping. She uses a combination of research methodologies including behavioral studies with patients suffering from neurological disorders, transcranial magnetic stimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Nichola came to participate in CELEST because she was interested in how motor skills are learned. Nichola’s work with CELEST has focused on human skill learning, principally learning through imitation. She has been involved in the design of a novel behavioral paradigm and a complementary algorithm that can analyze the fidelity of complex skilled imitative movements. She has used this behavioral paradigm and algorithm in a number of projects investigating how factors such as age and gender influence how people acquire novel motor skills. This work recently led to her be awarded a seed grant from Brandeis University’s new Lifespan Initiative in Healthy Aging to investigate how sleep loss in older adults influences their ability to learn unfamiliar sequences of movements.

Last updated on May 18, 2011