Announcing Our 2022 Young Investigator Award Winner: Dr Syanah Wynn

Since 2017, the Brainbox Initiative has helped promote and reward groundbreaking research carried out by exceptional early-career neuroscientists within the field of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) with the Young Investigator Award. Each year we receive a number of high-quality applications from researchers at Universities around the world, and we are proud to announce that this year's winner of the Young Investigator Award is Dr Syanah Wynn from the University of Birmingham.

Dr. Wynn has been given this award for her exceptional work and research on the brain processes involved in memory-related decision-making and optimal learning. Syanah explains the inspiration behind her research “I am mainly interested in the individual, subjective aspect of memory since this is more nuanced than the dichotomy between “remembered” and “forgotten”. Gaining more knowledge in the perceived experience of memory and how this is established in the brain is what motivates me in my research”.

“My work focuses on the brain processes involved in memory-related decision-making and optimal learning.” Syanah tells us “For instance, what determines the confidence we have in our memories: Why are some memories strong and vivid, while others are weak and vague? But also, how do we inhibit irrelevant processes and adapt after making mistakes to optimize our learning? In my work, I have used EEG to investigate the mechanisms underlying these processes. I subsequently used this knowledge to guide non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) memory studies.”

Syanah attended the Brainbox Initiative Conference in 2021, where she first learnt about the Brainbox Initiative Community and Young Investigator Award. Syanah adds “Given that I am very passionate about both neuroimaging and NIBS, I felt like the YIA (Young Investigator Award) would be a great fit with my research”.

We asked Dr Wynn what it means to win this award: “It means a lot to me to win this award. Since I have the tendency to fall trap to the imposter syndrome, winning this award is a great reminder that my work is appreciated by people in the field”.

When asked what advice she would give to other early career researchers in the field, she told us “Try not to compare yourself with others but just try to do your best in your own projects. If it is an option, I also would recommend doing some side-projects and/or lab visits to explore your research interests further and to build new connections.”

Dr Syanah Wynn will be attending this year’s Brainbox Initiative Conference in London to accept the award and discuss her award-winning research.

The Brainbox Initiative Conference will return as a hybrid event for 2022 at the prestigious Wellcome Collection, London this September 22-23, followed by a Satellite TUS (Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation) workshop hosted by Professor Kim Butts Pauly on September 24.

For more information on the Brainbox Initiative Conference, click here
For to register for the Brainbox Initiative Conference, find out more here

Selected Bibliography

Wynn, S.C., & Nyhus, E. (2022). Brain activity patterns underlying memory confidence.

Wynn, S.C., Nyhus, E., Jensen, O. (2020). Alpha modulation in younger and older adults during distracted encoding.

Wynn, S.C., Kessels, R.P.C., Schutter, D.J.L.G. (2020) Electrocortical indices of subjectively perceived confidence in episodic memory.

Brink, R.L.V.D., Wynn, S.C., Nieuwenhuis, S. (2014). Post-Error Slowing as a Consequence of Disturbed Low-Frequency Oscillatory Phase Entrainment.

Xiaochen, Z.Y., Wynn, S.C. (2022) Midfrontal theta is associated with errors, but no evidence for a link with error-related memory.