Dr Michael Craig

    Postdoctoral Research Associate

    Biography

    I obtained a BSc(Hons) in Human Biosciences from Northumbria University (2010) and an MRes in Neuroscience from Newcastle University (2011) before completing a PhD in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh (2015). Following the completion of my PhD, I joined the Psychology Department at Heriot-Watt University in as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working in the Memory Lab. In November 2016, I was awarded an Alzheimer’s Society Junior Fellowship to conduct a research project investigating the neurocognitive basis of severe forgetting in Alzheimer’s Disease. In August 2019, I combined my Postdoctoral Research Fellow activities with teaching duties by taking on a part-time Assistant Professor role in the Psychology Department. In the 2019/20 academic year, I will contribute to the delivery of the following courses: Introduction to Psychology 1, Introduction to Psychology 2.

     

    Research interests

    I am interested in memory and related functions in human health and disease. My research investigates a variety of questions including: How does memory change as we grow older and in Alzheimer's Disease? How are new memories processed in the brain? How do different post-learning conditions (e.g. quiet rest, being busy) affect the early processing and transformation of new memories? How do we find our way in new and familiar environments? Are there differences in memory functions between hearing and deaf individuals? To do this, I use a range of behavioural and electrophysiological methods, including electroencephalogram (EEG) brain activity recording, sensitive memory measures, neuropsychological tests, and virtual reality. The ultimate goals of my work are to provide new insights into memory in human health and disease in order to develop new diagnostic tools / measures of disease progression (e.g. for Alzheimer’s Disease) and safe, low-cost interventions to support those with and without memory problems to live as healthy and independently as possible, for as long as possible.

    You can read more about my research and other interesting work in our lab via the Memory Lab website.

     

    Published research papers

    Craig, M., Wolbers, T., Strickland, S., Achtzehn, J. & Dewar, M. (2019) Rapid enhancement of new spatial memories in the awake state. Hippocampus. 29, 8: 862-868.

    Craig, M., Ottaway, G. & Dewar, M. (2018) Rest on it: Awake quiescence facilitates insight. Cortex. 109:205-214.

    Craig, M. & Dewar M. (2018) Rest-related consolidation protects the fine detail of new memories. Nature Scientific Reports. 8, 6857.

    Craig, M., Wolbers, T., Harris, M., Hauff, P., Della Sala, S. & Dewar, M. (2016) Comparable Rest-related Promotion of Spatial Memory Consolidation in Younger and Older Adults. Neurobiology of Aging. 48: 143-152.

    Craig, M., Butterworth, K., Nilsson, J., Hamilton, C., Gallagher, P. & Smulders, T. (2016) How does intentionality of encoding affect memory for episodic information? Learning & Memory. 23: 648-659.

    Craig, M., Dewar, M., Harris, M., Hauff, P., Della Sala, S. & Wolbers, T. (2016) Wakeful Rest Promotes the Integration of Spatial Memories into Accurate Cognitive Maps. Hippocampus. 26(2): 185-93.

    Craig, M., Dewar, M., Della Sala, S. & Wolbers, T. (2015) Rest Boosts the Long-term Retention of Spatial Associative and Temporal Order Information. Hippocampus. 25(9): 1017-27.

    Craig, M., Della Sala, S. & Dewar, M. (2014) Autobiographical Thinking Interferes with Episodic Memory Consolidation. PLOS ONE 9(4): e93915. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093915.

     

    Published book chapters

    Craig, M., Dewar, M. & Della Sala, S. (2015) Retroactive Interference, (2015) In: International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences (2nd Edition), Vol. 20, pp 613-620. Oxford: Elsevier.

     

    Research grants (2016-present)

    2019:       £2,942 – School of Social Sciences Internal Research Grant (PI): Funding awarded to support a pilot project investigating potential differences in visual memory abilities between hearing and deaf individuals.

    2018:       £9,849 – Carnegie Trust for Scottish Universities (PI): Grant awarded to support a project investigating the development of new memory-related markers of healthy and pathological ageing (Alzheimer’s disease).

    2018:       £2,000 – Alzheimer’s Research UK Scotland Network (PI): Grant awarded to support a project investigating the neural basis of memory consolidation in healthy younger and older adults.

    2018:       £2,100 – Alzheimer’s Society Undergraduate Bursary (PI): Funding awarded to support an Undergraduate student with a passion for dementia research to receive training in experimental methods and contribute towards an ongoing research project investigating the neural basis of memory consolidation in human health and disease.

    2016:       £148,000 – Alzheimer’s Society Junior Fellowship (PI): Fellowship awarded to support a research project investigating the neurocognitive basis of severe forgetting in Alzheimer’s disease.

    2016:       £2,000 – Alzheimer’s Research UK Scotland Network (PI): Grant awarded to support a project examining the suitability of immersive virtual reality as a tool for cognitive assessment and intervention in Alzheimer’s disease.

     

    Representative research conference presentations and invited talks (2016-present)

    Craig, M. Developing a new test to identify consolidation-related memory markers of normal ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), Los Angeles, California (USA), July 2019.

    Craig M. Are memory problems in Alzheimer’s disease linked to a fault in the reactivation of new memories? Heriot-Watt University Dementia Research Showcase 2018, Edinburgh (UK), Nov 2018.

    Craig M., Parra, M., Escudero, J., Dewar, M. Are memory problems in Alzheimer’s disease linked to a fault in the reactivation of new memories? Alzheimer’s Society Conference 2018, London (UK), May 2018.

    Craig, M. & Dewar, M. Rest-related consolidation protects the fine detail of new memories, International Learning & Memory conference 2018, Huntington Beach, California (USA), April 2018.

    Craig M., Parra, M., Escudero, J., Dewar, M., Examining the mechanisms of severe forgetting in Alzheimer’s disease, EU-Latin American early career researcher meeting, Edinburgh (UK), October 2017.

    Craig, M., Wolbers, T., Dewar, M., BPS Cognitive Section Awake quiescence enhances spatial memory of a virtual reality town, British Psychological Society Cognitive section meeting 2017, Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), September 2017.

    Craig, M., Wolbers, T., Harris, M., Hauff, P., Della Sala, S., Dewar, M., Post-navigation rest supports the consolidation and integration of spatial memories into accurate cognitive maps in young and older adults, Interdisciplinary Symposium on Spatial Cognition in Aging & Neurodegeneration 2016, Magdeburg (Germany), November 2016.

    Craig, M., Wolbers, T., Harris, M., Hauff, P., Della Sala, S., Dewar, M., Post-navigation rest results in accurate cognitive maps in young and older adults, International Conference on Memory 2016, Budapest (Hungary), July 2016.

     

    M.Craig

    M.Craig[at]hw.ac.uk


    Edinburgh Campus
    Room 2.07
    Lord Balerno Building
    +44 (0) 131 451 8009

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