Michael V. Freedberg

Brooklyn, NY
BA, Psychology, SUNY COL at Plattsburgh
Research interests: 

I am a PhD Neuroscience student working in Dr. Hazeltine’s laboratory.  My main research interests are grounded in the field of motor skill acquisition, the role of reward in learning, the contingencies and boundaries of bimanually coordinated responses, and the neural mechanisms that subserve these processes.  Using dual-task and serial response time-like paradigms, I examine how reward, task demands, perceptual and response relatedness, as well as other variables affect one’s ability to encode and respond to information.   Additionally, I incorporate methods from cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology in order to identify the necessary neural tissue that underlies learning in humans during these paradigms.  Currently I am interested in how the basal ganglia, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex interact during motor skill learning and how they work as a network during implicit acquisition of information.

Living in Iowa City: 

Out of all the places I have lived in my life, Iowa has the nicest and friendliest people I have met.  It is really hard to have a bad day in Iowa City.  Among my favorite things in Iowa City are the beautiful campus (yes, even in the winter), the great variety of food, and of course the opportunities that are available at the University of Iowa.  Being a New York native, it is refreshing to live in Iowa City since it is so peaceful and calm (game days aside of course).

I chose to come to UI because of its great history of cognitive neuroscience research.  There is a broad range of research across my department and interdisciplinary work is always encouraged.  It is not hard to find someone to collaborate with here.  I look forward to the rest of my time here and I know that I will end with a great education. 

Defense date: 
Thesis project: 

"Examining the effects of reward and punishment on incidental learning"

Ph.D. Advisor: 

“I knew the University of Iowa was perfect for me after meeting the friendly faculty and students. I felt as if I were right at home. There are so many different opportunities that the university has to offer. Iowa City as a whole is a great place to live. The city offers numerous amounts of places to study, as well as multiple places to go for entertainment. Iowa City is definitely molded towards the benefits of the students. ”