— Motivated Cognition Lab

Recognition as a ‘rising star‘ from the Association for Psychological Science.

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2015 – 2016 Times Higher Education University Rankings

The University of Trento ranks 198th in the world in the THE 2015-2016 rankings and as the top University in Italy*.

test*  Kudos to the  Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (462 students) and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (729 students), ranking 112th and 180th respectively. The majority of students at these special institutes are completing doctoral work. The University of Trento has about 18k students, the vast majority completing undergraduate programs. 

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Christina Lavallee has joined the lab as postdoctoral fellow. Christina recently completed her PhD at the University of Oldenburg, DE, and will be investigating selective attention using concurrent EEG and MRI.

Poppy Sharp has joined the lab as PhD student. Poppy finished her MA at the Donders Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, NL, and will be working on temporal integration in perception using MEG.

Welcome Christina!                       Welcome Poppy!













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SPM = spm_spm(SPM)

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Matt Weaver and Clayton Hickey attended a workshop on ‘Lateralized attention in the brain’ at the Center for Advanced Studies, LMU, Munich.

Matt had a chance to discuss his N2pc / Pd / eye movement data with Steve Luck, who wrote the book on the topic.

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Very happy to report two new papers, both investigating the effects of reward association on naturalistic human vision.

Hickey, Kaiser and Peelen (2015). Reward guides attention to object categories in real-world scenes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(1). <link>

Hickey and Peelen (2015). Neural mechanisms of incentive salience in naturalistic human vision. Neuron, 85, 512-518.


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Alisha Siebold has joined the lab as postdoctoral fellow. Alisha’s position is funded by the Provincia Autonoma di Trento Grandi Progetti grant ‘ATTEND’, and she’ll be using eye tracking and EEG to investigate plasticity in vision. Welcome Alisha!


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Elena Aggius-Vella has joined the lab as a research assistant. Elena’s position is shared with the Peelen lab and is funded by the Provincia Autonomia di Trento ‘Grande Progetto’ ATTEND. She will support collaborative work between the Motivated Cognition lab and the Peelen lab as well as independent projects from both groups. Welcome Elena! enda

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I’ve recently started using Amazon Glacier as a long-term solution for offsite backup of EEG / MRI data. The appeal comes from two characteristics of the service:

– Amazon claims 99.999999999% annual durability. Data is redundant within a storage site and across more than one  site, so there is some insurance against black swan events. 

– $0.011 / GB / month. So for me, a run-of-the-mill MRI experiment costs about 11 cents per month to archive.

There are drawbacks, here’s the biggest: Retrieving data is potentially expensive, and the billing rate is not easy to understand. Amazon explains reasonably well in the billing portion of this FAQ. An unofficial calculator helps too.

For me, this is disaster insurance to supplement onsite backup. If disaster strikes, the costs associated with retrieval will be bearable. In the meantime it’s very cheap peace-of-mind.

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Open Day for prospective graduate students in Mind/Brain Sciences
Rovereto, 24 March 2014

The Open Day is dedicated to prospective MSc and PhD students from UniTN and other universities in Italy and abroad, interested in getting first hand information about the CIMeC Graduate Program in Cognitive and Brain Sciences:

* Master’s course in Cognitive Science
* Doctoral course in Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Throughout the day, students will have the opportunity to attend presentations of post-graduate studies available at CIMeC, get acquainted with admissions procedures and requirements, get information about financial aid and scholarship programs, get information on professional placement and research opportunities, take part in a guided tour of the CIMeC labs, and get more personalized information from faculty and students.

For more information and schedule:


If interested, please contact us at mcs@unitn.it (for prospective MSc students) orphd.cimec@unitn.it (for prospective PhD students)

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