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. 

“I like to describe Iowa City as a small town, with a big city feel. The town is great to live in for a graduate student: cost of living is low, it is a very safe city, and a ton of activities. Iowa City is perfectly located within driving distance to several bigger cities: Des Moines (2 hours), Chicago (3.5 hours), Madison (3 hours), and Minneapolis (5 hours). Whether it's the summer jazz festival, film festivals, live bands, or the farmer's market, there are cultural events year-round that give you the chance to get out and have some fun. ”