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Melina Uncapher, PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentNeurology
Address675 Nelson Rising Lane
San Francisco CA 94158
Phone415-502-7322
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    Collapse Overview
    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 14 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 a multi-university Science of Learning network, partnering with investigators at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and UCSF, to investigate how executive function/cognitive control contributes to academic achievement in middle childhood. 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 supports the foundation's efforts to use neuroscience to guide law policy and practice. Funded by the foundation, she has 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.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    Multi-modal Study of Cognitive and Neural Differences in Media Multitaskers
    NIH/NIMH R56MH111672Aug 11, 2017 - Jul 31, 2019
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
    Perceptual Binding and Episodic Memory
    NIH/NIMH F32MH084475Sep 1, 2008 - Aug 31, 2011
    Role: Principal Investigator

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    Collapse Featured Publications

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Brown TI, Uncapher M, Chow TE, Eberhardt JL, Wagner AD. Cognitive control, attention, and the other race effect in memory. PLoS One. 2017; 12(3):e0173579. PMID: 28282414.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Uncapher M, K Thieu M, Wagner AD. Media multitasking and memory: Differences in working memory and long-term memory. Psychon Bull Rev. 2016 Apr; 23(2):483-90. PMID: 26223469; PMCID: PMC4733435 [Available on 04/01/17].
    3. Gonzalez A, Hutchinson JB, Uncapher M, Chen J, LaRocque KF, Foster BL, Rangarajan V, Parvizi J, Wagner AD. Electrocorticography reveals the temporal dynamics of posterior parietal cortical activity during recognition memory decisions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 01; 112(35):11066-71. PMID: 26283375; PMCID: PMC4568245.
    4. Uncapher M, Boyd-Meredith JT, Chow TE, Rissman J, Wagner AD. Goal-Directed Modulation of Neural Memory Patterns: Implications for fMRI-Based Memory Detection. J Neurosci. 2015 Jun 03; 35(22):8531-45. PMID: 26041920.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Hutchinson JB, Uncapher M, Wagner AD. Increased functional connectivity between dorsal posterior parietal and ventral occipitotemporal cortex during uncertain memory decisions. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Jan; 117:71-83. PMID: 24825621; PMCID: PMC4226743.
    6. Hutchinson JB, Uncapher M, Weiner KS, Bressler DW, Silver MA, Preston AR, Wagner AD. Functional heterogeneity in posterior parietal cortex across attention and episodic memory retrieval. Cereb Cortex. 2014 Jan; 24(1):49-66. PMID: 23019246; PMCID: PMC3862264.
    7. Uncapher M, Hutchinson JB, Wagner AD. Dissociable effects of top-down and bottom-up attention during episodic encoding. J Neurosci. 2011 Aug 31; 31(35):12613-28. PMID: 21880922; PMCID: PMC3172893.
    8. Uncapher M, Hutchinson JB, Wagner AD. A roadmap to brain mapping: toward a functional map of human parietal cortex. Neuron. 2010 Jul 15; 67(1):5-8. PMID: 20624586.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Gottlieb LJ, Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Dissociation of the neural correlates of visual and auditory contextual encoding. Neuropsychologia. 2010 Jan; 48(1):137-44. PMID: 19720071; PMCID: PMC2795095.
    10. Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Selecting for memory? The influence of selective attention on the mnemonic binding of contextual information. J Neurosci. 2009 Jun 24; 29(25):8270-9. PMID: 19553466; PMCID: PMC2730727.
    11. Hutchinson JB, Uncapher M, Wagner AD. Posterior parietal cortex and episodic retrieval: convergent and divergent effects of attention and memory. Learn Mem. 2009 Jun; 16(6):343-56. PMID: 19470649; PMCID: PMC2704099.
    12. Uncapher M, Wagner AD. Posterior parietal cortex and episodic encoding: insights from fMRI subsequent memory effects and dual-attention theory. Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2009 Feb; 91(2):139-54. PMID: 19028591; PMCID: PMC2814803.
    13. Park H, Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Effects of study task on the neural correlates of source encoding. Learn Mem. 2008 Jun; 15(6):417-25. PMID: 18511693; PMCID: PMC2414252.
    14. Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Fractionation of the component processes underlying successful episodic encoding: a combined fMRI and divided-attention study. J Cogn Neurosci. 2008 Feb; 20(2):240-54. PMID: 18275332.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Rugg MD, Johnson JD, Park H, Uncapher M. Encoding-retrieval overlap in human episodic memory: a functional neuroimaging perspective. Prog Brain Res. 2008; 169:339-52. PMID: 18394485.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Uncapher M, Otten LJ, Rugg MD. Episodic encoding is more than the sum of its parts: an fMRI investigation of multifeatural contextual encoding. Neuron. 2006 Nov 09; 52(3):547-56. PMID: 17088219; PMCID: PMC1687210.
    17. Woodruff CC, Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Neural correlates of differential retrieval orientation: Sustained and item-related components. Neuropsychologia. 2006; 44(14):3000-10. PMID: 16930636.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Effects of divided attention on fMRI correlates of memory encoding. J Cogn Neurosci. 2005 Dec; 17(12):1923-35. PMID: 16356329.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Encoding and the durability of episodic memory: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. J Neurosci. 2005 Aug 03; 25(31):7260-7. PMID: 16079408.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Woodruff CC, Johnson JD, Uncapher M, Rugg MD. Content-specificity of the neural correlates of recollection. Neuropsychologia. 2005; 43(7):1022-32. PMID: 15769488.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Cahill L, Uncapher M, Kilpatrick L, Alkire MT, Turner J. Sex-related hemispheric lateralization of amygdala function in emotionally influenced memory: an FMRI investigation. Learn Mem. 2004 May-Jun; 11(3):261-6. PMID: 15169855; PMCID: PMC419728.
    22. Haier RJ, Alkire MT, White NS, Uncapher M, Head E, Lott IT, Cotman CW. Temporal cortex hypermetabolism in Down syndrome prior to the onset of dementia. Neurology. 2003 Dec 23; 61(12):1673-9. PMID: 14694028.
      View in: PubMed
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