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Paul J. Reber, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Psychology
Northwestern University

Head of the Brain, Behavior and Cognition Program at NU Psych

Link to Faculty page at Northwestern University Psychology Department

A Wordle based on my current CV (Aug 2011) which seems like a surprisingly good snapshot.

Professional interests

Cognitive neuroscience of memory; neurological basis of memory systems; neuroimaging, experimental and computational approaches to understanding memory throughout the brain.



Professional Experience

Sept. 2004-Present Associate Professor of Psychology, Northwestern UniversityFellow, Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Northwestern University Medical School.
Member, Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience
1998-2004 Assistant Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University
1997-1998 Cognitive Neuroscience Research Fellow, Magnetic Resonance Institute &
Department of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego.
1993-1997 Post-doctoral fellow with Larry R. Squire, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry
University of California at San Diego.


1989-1993 Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Psychology
1984‑1988 B.S. Eng in Computer Science, University of Pennsylvania, Moore School of Electrical Engineering


Academic CV (Aug 2012)

Implicit sequence learning in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)

By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

I think I’m not even going to explain why this is interesting to me beyond the obvious title and the fact that the senior author, Liz Brannon is a childhood friend and now distinguished researcher and Professor at Duke. Abstract Implicit learning involves picking up information from the environment without explicit instruction or conscious awareness …


By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

I ran across this link to Paul Krugman being insightful and thoughtful about the general question of ‘What is a Model” and “What do we use them for in Science?” It’s about economics and specifically models of development economics, but the general questions of methodology apply to social sciences more broadly. It is in a …

Job Openings

By Paul, Category News

The following ad should appear in the Cognitive Neuroscience Newsletter soon: Postdoctoral Positions at Northwestern University Memory Systems, Intuition and Modeling Department of Psychology Laboratories of Paul Reber & Ken Paller Multiple postdoctoral openings currently available on two new projects aimed at accelerating expertise development from training using memory systems theory. One project will develop …

Does technology make you smarter or dumber?

By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

I got another request to comment on yet another media claim that technology is bad for our brains.  It’s actually also a good example of really poor science reporting in the media, so I won’t link it, but the topic seems generally of interest and it appears to be based on a curious underlying (folk) …

Questions from a middle schooler about videogames

By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

I was asked to answer some questions from a middle school student doing a research project on video games.  Since I am interested in the topic generally, I should probably figure out how to answer these kinds of questions at an age-appropriate level.  My attempt: Jose asks: 1. Do video games affect the human brain? …

Today’s thought exercise

By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

This is a very interesting piece on the philosophy of science and popular understandings of science: How our botched understanding of ‘science’ ruins everything http://theweek.com/article/index/268360/how-our-botched-understanding-of-science-ruins-everything   As an exercise to the reader, explain what is wrong with his complaint that what most people think of science is actually the opposite of science. Some helpful ideas …

Forgetting names

By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

For some reason, I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately to explain why we are bad at remembering people’s names lately.  An email exchange on this with an Atlantic reporter got summarized online here: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/08/why-do-we-forget-names-as-soon-as-we-meet-people/375815/ Curiously, it then also got picked up on another site, Lifehacker: http://lifehacker.com/why-its-so-hard-to-remember-peoples-names-1620881563 And then I was contacted earlier this …

Cognition at high speed

By Paul, Category Reber's Randomness

I’m a big fan of Jerry, who posts to YouTube as ChessNetwork his videos of playing chess online.  One of the things he does regularly is playing online speed chess — ultra-rapid, “bullet” chess where each player has ~1m for the whole game. Chess is a different game when you have 60 seconds to make …

Neuroscience Meets Cryptography

By Paul, Category News

Our article on our “cortical cyptography” project is out in the Communications of the ACM: http://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2014/5/174358-neuroscience-meets-cryptography/fulltext The focus is on how implicit knowledge of a password provides resistance to coercion attacks were you might be asked/forced to give up your password. While true, we frequently see people raising concerns that our method is too slow/cumbersome …

Post-doctoral position available

By Paul, Category News

Enhancing Intuitive Decision Making through Implicit Learning We are looking for a post-doctoral researcher to contribute to a new ONR funded project that will use computational modeling and fMRI to examine intuitive decision making.  Using our PINNACLE framework, we will build computational simulation models of cognitive processing that depends on interactions between implicit and explicit …

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