Melina is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Neurology, and leads the educational neuroscience efforts of the Cognitive Neuroscience division. Melina is a neuroscientist with 17 yrs of experience at the forefront of learning and memory research, with a focus on understanding how executive functioning/cognitive control affects learning and memory. More recently, she has turned her efforts to applying research to real-world problems. She leads research and outreach efforts in the fields of education, technology, and law.
Education: Melina partners with educators throughout the country to design, implement, and assess education innovations that are grounded in the science of learning. She leads Project iLEAD, a multi-university NSF Science of Learning network, partnering with investigators at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCSF, UC San Diego, Rutgers, and UC Davis to investigate how executive function contributes to academic achievement in middle childhood. Project iLEAD generated a database of over 1,000 students (3rd through 8th grade) with ~80,000 tasks of executive function, math, reading, reasoning, and more, collected over two years (https://tinyurl.com/ProjectILEAD). On the outreach side, she co-founded and is CEO of a science-for-good nonprofit that arms educators and students with practices and tools based on the science of learning (scienceforgood.org).
Technology: Melina investigates whether technology and media are associated with cognitive and neural differences, using functional neuroimaging and behavioral assessments of media use and cognitive function. On the outreach side, she co-chaired a global conference for the National Academy of Sciences on children and technology, and is a founding board member of the Institute of Digital Media and the Child Development.
Law: Melina works to bridge the fields of neuroscience and law, also via research and outreach. As a MacArthur Scholar, she supported the foundation's efforts to use neuroscience to guide law policy and practice. Funded by the foundation, she led multi-year neuroimaging studies investigating memory issues that have relevance to legal policy and practice. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Science & Law, lectures regularly at law schools, and advises Bay Area law enforcement officials.