Mind Science Foundation provides crucial funding
Justin Hulbert is a Ph.D. student at Cambridge University who studies how the brain sifts through the vast array of memories we've accumulated over the years to find the one that's relevant to the current situation while pushing aside unwanted thoughts that distract us. His research, supervised by Professor Michael C. Anderson at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, explores the role of cognitive control, generally, and inhibitory processes, specifically, in these tasks. Combining cognitive, neuroimaging (fMRI), and electrophysiological (ERP/iEEG) methods to explore the impact of inhibition on the human hippocampus, he aims to elucidate the neurological basis of memory formation, consolidation, and forgetting.
The impact of a small grant on a young researcher's career - in Justin's words
The scientific method lays out a path for researchers to develop novel hypotheses, test crucial predictions, and apply the conclusions for the benefit of society as a whole. The path, however, is rarely linear. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, training for a research career rarely lacks its own share of unexpected twists and turns. My story is no different. Five years ago, I began my doctoral studies into the conscious control of memory at the University of Oregon under the supervision of Professor Michael C. Anderson. Two years later, I took my work on a transatlantic voyage when the lab relocated to the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Now on the verge of completing my Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge following yet another move, there can be no doubt that having repeatedly picked up stakes made for an interesting intellectual journey and an equally complicated set of financial circumstances.
I recently found myself preparing to conduct the brain imaging study that was to be the capstone of my dissertation, burdened with an acute awareness that I might not have the resources to bring my efforts to completion. As an American studying in the United Kingdom, funding sources are extremely limited—a matter further exacerbated by the tough economic climate of the moment. Fortunately, the Mind Science Foundation’s longstanding dedication to facilitating mind/brain research and education overcame these would-be impediments and provided the crucial funding for me to complete my experiments, disseminate their promising findings, and graduate from Cambridge.
By recognizing the potential long-term scientific payoffs in granting the Tom Slick Award, the Foundation has made an indelible impact not only on my career but also on our understanding and appreciation of the mind, more generally. I am forever grateful to the Foundation’s commitment and to the generous donors that support its worthy mission.
Justin C. Hulbert
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