Director of Brain and Cognitive Sciences Program
College of Liberal Arts - Psychology
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania
Professor Olson is the Principal Investigator of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Temple University. Temple has a very collegial department in which many PIs collaborate. Jason Chein and Tania Giovannetti are two of Professor Olson's current collaborators.
Professor Olson also has an appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, where she collaborates closely with many other great people: Anjan Chatterjee, Branch Coslett, Geoff Aguirre, Dave Wolk, and Roy Hamilton.
Professor Olson's Academic Heritage
A long time ago, in a state far far away, Professor Olson received her undergraduate degree. Her BA is from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - one of the best places in the world! At one time, they also had one of the best football and basketball teams . . .
After receiving her BA, Professor Olson moved to New Haven, Connecticut to attend Yale University, a great school with awful football and basketball teams. She worked first with Tom Carew, then Marvin Chun, in the Department of Psychology at Yale. Professor Olson's dissertation was on a type of statistical learning called "contextual cueing." While at Yale, she also began working with Yuhong Jiang to study visual working memory. For her postdoc, she stayed in New Haven, but moved to the medical school to work with John Gore on biomedical imaging.
Professor Olson had a peculiar effect on all of her PIs at Yale – as soon as she worked with them, they left (Tom went to Irvine; Marvin and John went to Vanderbilt). So, she decided it was time for her to leave Yale as well. This brought her to Philadelphia.
Current Research Interests
This is an exciting time to do cognitive neuroscience research. Our laboratory uses a variety of techniques to answer questions about working memory, episodic memory, semantic memory, and social-emotional memory (see the lab’s publication list for more details about this work).
Broader Impact of Research
Professor Olson is very interested in the educational applications of the lab's research. To that end, we make a concerted effort to integrate research with education. In the future, we hope to extend our research on basic memory processes to understand the best techniques for improving the retention of material learned in school.