Sandra L. Ladd

Sandra L. Ladd
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT · Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience, Boston University School of Medicine

About

5
Publications
1,871
Reads
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133
Citations
Introduction
My professional journey is best described as “the road less traveled.” My nonlinear progression from a teacher of research at the lower division level to a behavioral neuroscientist with a Ph.D. from Boston University School of Medicine (2014) was inspired by the extraordinary scientists and educators who crossed my path. My research interests include the mechanisms for nonconscious positive memory (basic) and medical interventions using technology-interfaced behavioral biomechanics (applied).
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Position
  • Research Affiliate
Description
  • I have the honor of being mentored by Dr. John Gabrieli. He was the principle professor for my dissertation research completed at Boston University School of Medicine and I am currently doing collaborative research with him at MIT.
September 1998 - September 2000
West Valley College
Position
  • Founder and Coordinator, Honors University Transfer Program
Description
  • I founded the first Northern California community college honors program accepted into the UCLA Transfer Alliance.
September 1994 - September 2004
Cognitive Neuroscience and Behavior Laboratory, West Valley College, and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Stanford University
Position
  • Collaborative Research
Description
  • I conducted a series of experiments on explicit and implicit memory in coordination with the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Stanford University.
Education
September 2004 - September 2014
Boston University School of Medicine
Field of study
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Publications

Publications (5)
Article
Full-text available
The mere exposure effect refers to an affective preference elicited by exposure to previously unfamiliar items. Although it is a well-established finding, its mechanism remains uncertain, with some positing that it reflects affective processes and others positing that it reflects perceptual or motor fluency with repeated items. Here we examined whe...
Article
Full-text available
These studies examined memory encoding to determine whether the mere exposure effect could be categorized as a form of conceptual or perceptual implicit priming and, if it was not conceptual or perceptual, whether cardiovascular psychophysiology could reveal its nature. Experiment 1 examined the effects of study phase level of processing on recogni...
Article
Full-text available
Two kinds of perceptual priming (word identification and word fragment completion), as well as preference priming (that may rely on special affective mechanisms) were examined after participants either read or named the colors of words and nonwords at study. Participants named the colors of words more slowly than the colors of nonwords, indicating...
Article
Three experiments examined contributions of study phase awareness of word identity to subsequent word-identification priming by manipulating visual attention to words at study. In Experiment 1, word-identification priming was reduced for ignored relative to attended words, even though ignored words were identified sufficiently to produce negative p...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have not demonstrated a consistent relationship between precursors to acetylcholine (ACh) and memory function in normal human subjects. This experiment (N = 80, college students) employed a double-blind mixed design to test the effect of phosphatidylcholine (PCh) on explicit memory. Dose of placebo and PCh was compared at two level...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
My current project is related to understanding the neural and behavioral basis for age-related differences in the disease-related symptom experience. My goal is to examine mechanisms of aging related to emotion-specific memory that may have an impact on healthspan.