This year’s NSF-IGERT fellow poster competition (May 3-6, 2011) was for the first time held online at www.igert.org. The competition featured 135 presenters that were nominated through their individual IGERT programs. The posters were judged by a committee of faculty who volunteered their time for the job. Erika’s work on “How Exercising (Your Brain) Improves Language Use” was selected among the 24 finalist posters, and she was invited to the NSF headquarters on May 25 for the final phase of the poster competition, which included a career advancement day.
Erika’s research is centered on investigating the role of cognitive control for language processing and examines how cognitive control training generalizes to measures of language processing. Her present study was the first to demonstrate that cognitive control training may transfer to untrained language measures, suggesting that general-purpose cognitive control is a common mechanism that reinterpretation abilities also rely on. These findings have important implications for patient populations with cognitive impairments that affect language skills. Her work may also help to inform ways of determining how to offset conditions when cognitive control is depleted, like cases of cognitive-fatigue, stress, and performance-pressure.
Erika’s Poster can be viewed at: http://www.igert.org/posters2011/posters/38
The 24 finalist works can also be seen at: http://www.igert.org/posters2011/posters#/finalists/id=finalists