2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Human Biology
Supported by: Bio-X
Mentor: Anthony Wagner, Psychology

Flexible planning for the future is critical for achieving beneficial health, educational, social, and financial outcomes; however, under acute stress, prospective thought is impaired. Sarah will examine whether these impairments are solely caused by glucocorticoid effects of stress acting on neural regions involved in memory and cognitive control, or by divided attention induced by the stressor. These insights will provide a neuroscientific framework for understanding the precise mechanisms underlying the profound impacts that stress can have on prospective planning and behavior.

Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

Divided Attention’s Effect on Flexible Prospection During Navigation

Sarah Matsunaga1, Stephanie Gagnon2, Thackery Brown3, Anthony Wagner2
[Departments of Human Biology1 and Psychology2, Stanford University; School of Psychology3, Georgia Institute of Technology]