Hello! My name is Mary Whatley and I am a senior with a major in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience here at UNC Chapel Hill. This semester, I have been given the great opportunity to work at Teledyne Scientific Company, a private research company in Research Triangle Park, through the Karen M. Gil Internship program in the Psychology and Neuroscience Department. Teledyne’s current research is in the domain of cognitive neuroscience and involves a DARPA-funded project involving the enhancement of learning and memory in healthy adults. The project draws upon cognitive tests of memory based in real-life settings, a sleep component, as well as EEG measurements to attempt to answer questions about the timing and spatial information of memory consolidation during sleep as well as correlative changes in brain activity that occur during the task.
So far, the project is in its start-up and pilot testing phase, which has allowed me to engage in discussions about experimental design, recruiting, potential data analysis, and other aspects of the project that have not yet been officially decided. Working at Teledyne has also given me the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in a private company setting, rather than in academia. The company operates like an academic lab in many ways, but is structured in an office setting with affiliations with other private companies.
I’m hoping to eventually attend a graduate program in cognitive neuroscience focusing on memory research, so this internship gave me the opportunity to participate in a project that aligns very much with my interests and future goals. Also, because I am planning to take time off before applying to graduate programs, getting to engage in research in a private setting has allowed me to experience some of the different opportunities for work after graduation. I am excited to see where the project is heading and to get more experience with Teledyne.
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