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Dr Matthias Gruber

Dr Matthias Gruber

Senior Research Fellow

School of Psychology

Email
gruberm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 0079
Campuses
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Research summary

Why do we remember some information easily for the rest of our lives but forget other information immediately? It is clear that learning depends on how we process information. However, very little is known about how motivational states during learning influence later memory. My lab - the Cardiff University Motivation and Memory Lab - at CUBRIC studies the neuroscience of motivation and its effect on memory. We use a multi-modal neuroimaging approach (structural and functional MRI, M/EEG) to investigate how motivational states contribute to learning and memory. In order to translate our findings to real-life learning situations, we are not only interested in the role of extrinsic motivational states (e.g., reward) on memory but also how intrinsic motivational states (e.g., via curiosity or exploration) enhance learning and memory consolidation. Currently, most of our projects focus on the neuroscience of 'curiosity' and how curiosity affects learning in young people and adults. Our current research is primarily funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship via Wellcome and the Royal Society. 

Biography

2019 – current
Senior Research Fellow (Senior Lecturer), School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK.
2019 – current
Sir Henry Dale Fellow & Principal Investigator of the Motivation and Memory Group, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK.
2016 - 2019
COFUND Fellow & Principal Investigator of the Motivation and Memory Group, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK.
2011 - 2016
Postdoctoral researcher, Center for Neuroscience, University of California at Davis, USA. Supervisor: Dr Charan Ranganath.
2007 - 2011
PhD student, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK. Supervisor: Dr Leun Otten.
2003 - 2006
Research Assistant, Chair of Developmental and Cognitive Psychology at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Supervisor: Dr Karl-Heinz Bäuml.

Honours and awards

Funding and Fellowships

2019 – 2024
Sir Henry Dale Fellowship funded by Wellcome & the Royal Society. Role: Principal investigator.
Project title: How curiosity enhances hippocampus-dependent memory. 
2018
Seeds for Seed Award funded by the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund, Cardiff University. Role: Principal investigator.
Project title: A naturalistic active learning paradigm to study how active exploration affects hippocampus-dependent memories. 
2016-2019
Sêr Cymru Il COFUND Early Career Fellowship funded by the Welsh Government and the European Commission.
Project title: How anatomical connections within the reward network enhance brain function and memory: a multimodal imaging approach.
2014-2016

German Research Foundation (DFG) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Prof Charan Ranganath’s laboratory at UC Davis, USA. Project title: Learning and consolidation of salient information: The causal role of theta oscillations.

2012-2014

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Prof Charan Ranganath’s laboratory at UC Davis, USA. Project title: Intrinsic motivation and its role in memory consolidation

2007-2011
UCL Division of Psychology and Language Sciences Demonstratorship to fund PhD program in Dr Leun Otten’s laboratory at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UK.

Honours and Awards

Elected to the Memory Disorders Research Society, 2017.

Laird Cermak Award, Memory Disorders Research Society, 2016.

Finalist at 2016 Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, UC Davis, 2016.

Michael S. Gazzaniga Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience Best Trainee Poster, UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, 2015.

Selected to speak at TEDxUCDavis, “Beyond the Conversation”, 2015.

Publications

2021

2019

2018

2016

2014

2013

2011

2010

Why do we remember some information easily for the rest of our lives but forget other information immediately? It is clear that learning depends on how we process information. However, very little is known about how motivational states during learning influence later memory. My lab - the Cardiff University Motivation and Memory Lab - at CUBRIC studies the neuroscience of motivation and its effect on memory. We use a multi-modal neuroimaging approach (structural and functional MRI, M/EEG) to investigate how motivational states contribute to learning and memory. In order to translate our findings to real-life learning situations, we are not only interested in the role of extrinsic motivational states (e.g., reward) on memory but also how intrinsic motivational states (e.g., via curiosity or exploration) enhance learning and memory consolidation. Currently, most of our projects focus on the neuroscience of 'curiosity' and how curiosity affects learning in young people and adults. Our current research is primarily funded by a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship via Wellcome and the Royal Society. 

Supervision

Internships

We are always looking for interns who can dedicate three to five months to work on a project related to curiosity, motivation and memory.

Positions and PhD studentships available

At the moment, no positions or studentships are advertised. However, please get in touch if you are interested in a trainee position with us (along with your CV and a statement about why you would be a great addition to our team).

Current supervision

Duarte Pereira

Research student

Past projects

Current lab members

Vera Dehmelt (PhD student funded by the School of Psychology)

Duarte Freyer Martins De Melo Pereira (PhD student funded by the School of Psychology)

Charlotte Murphy (Postdoc funded via Sir Henry Dale Fellowship awarded to MJG)

Kathrin Eschmann (Postdoc funded via a 2-year German Research Foundation Fellowship to KE)

Danlu Cen (Postdoc funded via Sir Henry Dale Fellowship awarded to MJG; previously funded via ISSF3 award to MJG)

Hikaru "Hiki" Tsujimura (Postdoc funded via a 1.5-year ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship to HT)

Bonni Crawford (part-time Postdoc position funded via Sir Henry Dale Fellowship awarded to MJG)

Alison Costigan (part-time Postdoc position funded via Sir Henry Dale Fellowship awarded to MJG)

Lab alumni

Ashvanti Valji (PhD student)

Alice Price (Wellcome PhD Rotation Student)

Emma Bright (Research Assistant)

Alisa Priemysheva (MSc project student)

Zainab Khusnood (MSc project student)

Christos Gkoumas (Erasmus+ trainee)

Luca Palumbo (Erasmus+ trainee)