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Neuroscience

Professor Kelley’s Students Publish Paper

Memory research conducted over two years has resulted in a published paper for a trio of third-year students.

Megan Crocco ’16, Yuri Parasiuk ’16, and Jennifer Salgado-Benz ’16 worked with Professor of Psychology Matthew Kelleyto determine if providing hints to test-takers helped in reconstructing a pattern from memory using chess pieces or a toy circuit board. After testing a variety of hypotheses, they concluded that cues enhance memory only if they connect neighboring pieces of a test pattern. 

 The students started working with Kelley as summer Richter Scholars in 2013. Though none of the three are majoring in psychology, they enjoyed the project and working with Kelley so much they continued with the lab research. “It was nice when we started getting a connection,” said Salgado-Benz, a neuroscience major.

Learning that their findings will be published in the Psychology Press journal, Memory, is exciting news for all three students. “We’ve actually accomplished something that wasn’t just giving a presentation,” said Crocco, a double-major in biology and sociology & anthropology, and minor in environmental studies. “I definitely didn’t think that this would be published in a journal,” said Parasiuk, a biology major and chemistry and Asian Studies double-minor.

Working one-on-one with students is the reason Kelley is teaching at Lake Forest College. “I had a close relationship with my advisor as an undergraduate. He brought me into his research lab, which literally changed my life. Those experiences helped me get into a great graduate program and, eventually, land a great job here,” Kelley said. 

To date, Kelley has published research with 25 Lake Forest College students.

Click here to view a video of the team talking about the unexpected results of their research project.