Home: Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory @ Temple University

Dr. Ingrid Olson’s laboratory studies memory, decision making, social cognition, and the intersection of these processes. To do this we use a variety of methods including structural and functional MRI and network connectivity.


New Course for Fall of 2017!

Capstone in Psychology (1991, Psy 4696): Title: Lifestyle and Mind Health

Time and Date: T-Th, 12:30-1:50


In this course we’ll discuss how lifestyle choices can affect your psychological and brain health.  Some of the research is very strong – such as the effects of aerobic exercise – while other findings are weak or anecdotal, such as “brain hacking.” Topics will include: stress, poverty, exercise, cognitive enrichment, microbiome (also known as “poop science”) nutrition, video games, and illicit drugs such as LSD and Molly, which are claimed to cure certain psychological disorders. We’ll read original articles as well as newspaper and popular press articles. I will work closely with students on their final papers to ensure a strong final product.



Current lines of research include:

  • Social Memory

    Social memory refers to our memory for who people are and how we relate to them. This includes the neural basis of face memory, proper name memory, social networks and social hierarchies, as well as the perception, evaluation, memory and conceptualization of personality traits (both abstractly and concretely) such as dominance. For instance, recent studies in our lab have used fMRI and multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) to explore how we embed occupation and social status information in our representations of people. We also use behavioral studies to examine how social memory – or person knowledge – influences how we perceive others and make social decisions.

  • The intersection of decision making, memory, and reward

  • Cognitive enhancement using cognitive training and/or tDCS

  • Discrete functions of medial temporal lobe structures and networks in memory, perception, and affect.