Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Kevin MacDonald, MA student Psychology
Ontario Graduate Scholarship,
Dr. Jack Lightstone & Dr. Dorothy Markiewicz Entrance Scholarship,
Dr. Raymond and Mrs. Sachi Moriyama Graduate Fellowship
Graduate supervisor: Dr. Kimberly Cote
Kevins’s research story
I am in the first year of my master's degree in Psychology in the Behavioural Neuroscience stream. I'm working in the Sleep Research Laboratory at Brock University.
The focus of my research in this lab is the relationship between sleep and memory. In this field, there is generally a consensus that processes at play during sleep have an active role in storing and strengthening memories. One way this relationship is typically explored is by asking participants to memorize material, record the brain activity that takes place during subsequent sleep, and then compare this brain activity to their performance on a memory test the next day.
I hope to use a similar paradigm to explore this relationship further and test my own hypotheses about how we use our memory capacity efficiently to remember what needs to be remembered and forget things that can be forgotten.
I believe processes in the brain during sleep may support this type of beneficial forgetting, and the research we are conducting in the lab is aimed to address this.
Graduate Awards and the Brock experience
As any award recipient will tell you, these funding sources really allow us to focus on our studies and pursue an academic career with all the drive that we wish.
As a student coming from Nova Scotia, I had also applied to the master's program at a university closer to home. Even while applying, I was hoping I would find myself going to Brock in the fall. I found the research being conducted at this university very interesting and I wanted to be a part of it. However, I also had to consider that attending a University much further from home would come with additional financial costs including travel and some living costs.
Thankfully, because of the generosity of Brock and the donors, Brock ended up being the smarter choice for both my research interests and financial interests, and I can't possibly express my gratitude for this.
My experience at Brock this year has been great, it's getting even better, and I'm grateful that the choice to come here was made so easy for me because I'm certainly enjoying it.