Ada Aka, 2016

Research Specialist , Computational Memory Lab at University of Pennsylvania

Professional Background

As a recent Duke graduate, I started working at Computational Memory Lab (CML) as a research specialist. Our lab concentrates on neurocomputational mechanisms of human episodic and spatial memory. I am currently co-running Scalp Lab of CML. We are collecting and analyzing data from Penn Electrophysiology of Encoding and Retrieval Study (PEERS), a large-scale and multi-session experiment with young and older adults to explore memory function across different age groups. I am also a clinical tester at HUP and Jefferson Hospitals and collect electrophysiological data on patients with intractable epilepsy for Restoring Active Memory (RAM) project.


How has being a P&N graduate helped shape your professional success?

Being a Duke Psychology major sparked my interest for research, helped me build a solid foundation on theoretical knowledge and allowed me to develop skills such as critical thinking and communication. My curiosity towards memory started after taking an introductory cognitive psychology course. Many sections of our textbook referred to findings from our own professor, and I was eager to learn more about them. That is how everything began. Duke provided me numerous opportunities to explore questions that mattered to me such as “how can we enhance memory specifically in educational settings”. My amazing thesis advisor Dr. Marsh and her lab members walked me through every step. Tasks such as data analysis were scary at first, but soon became something that I enjoyed doing. Although I am at the very beginning of my full-time research experience, I am always excited to explore human memory and develop newer, advanced skills. I can’t thank Duke psychology department enough for helping me discover where my passion lies.


Ada Aka, 2016