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New psychology faculty uses neuroimaging to observe how memory, attention interact

by Cayman Somerville, Environmental Science, 2017

New techniques are rapidly being developed in neuroscience, a growing area that many are eager to study. Dr. Benjamin Hutchinson is one of those academics and will join Northeastern University’s faculty as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in January. His research is primarily focused on utilizing neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to observe how memory and attention interact within the human brain.

Ben comes to Northeastern University following a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuroscience at Princeton University. Dr. Hutchinson brings a wealth of laboratory, teaching, and research experience obtained during his doctorate in psychology at Stanford University. He is a National Institute of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award recipient and has authored numerous publications about memory and attention.

Dr. Hutchinson’s PhD and post-doctoral work was focused on exploring how humans remember and recall their memories, and how this further influences their attention and memory. Ben’s interests lie within the alternating relationship between our ability to form new memories, our ability to remember them, and how that influences how we interact with the world. “I am primarily interested in how these things take place in the brain. Therefore, much of my work has used fMRI,” says Hutchinson.

When asked why he chose Northeastern, he seemed excited about the new faculty position and eager to join the growing and innovative university. He is excited to bring new neuroimaging techniques and analysis, learned in his collaboration with Intel Labs, to his lab at Northeastern. Dr. Hutchinson stated, “[The university is] focusing a lot on becoming a powerhouse in research…it’s an exciting time to join Northeastern.”

Ben encourages students who have similar interests and questions about the brain, memory, and attention to join his lab, as he is actively seeking undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students to fill positions. As an assistant professor at Northeastern, he is eager to see how his research and lab will evolve, based on the interests and expertise of the students, who will bring their own experience to the lab.

Furthermore, Dr. Hutchinson stated the following: “Students in my lab will have the unique opportunity to be exposed to using relatively sophisticated techniques.”

If you are interested in joining the lab as a graduate student or as a post-doc in the fall of 2017, please contact Dr. Hutchison at b.hutchinson@northeastern.edu.

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