Conferences and multi-tasking

It’s been the best part of a month since I last posted. That time has been spent doing several things, including developing the (physical) DREAMSLab, attending conferences, progressing with several research projects (thanks to interns Gemma and Lynda – I’ll update on those projects in due course)… However I have to wonder whether I’m multi-tasking with too many projects to the extent that none of them seem to be progressing particularly effectively. It might even work out to be more productive once teaching starts (Sept 28th is just around the corner!) as I plan to concentrate on just one research task at that time: finishing the Sleep and Cognition book!

Nevertheless, I’m lucky to be involved with many exciting projects and they are each progressing, slowly but surely. Let’s not add guilt over their slow-movement to the things to do list!

I had planned to attend the BPS Cognitive Section conference, this year at the Uni of Kent at the beginning of September, and not take a load of other work tasks along with me. I failed in that regard, which was a shame. I dragged a load of paperwork over to Kent (via Banbury and Bicester actually – but don’t get me started on the challenges of organising childcare these days…)! The Cog conference was less varied than in previous years and consequently had fewer talks that were appealing to me (i.e. in the broad fields of memory, higher order cognitions e.g. metacognition, learning and applied cognitive science). As such the talks required more effort – not a reflection on them, but instead on the fact I should have left the 70 papers I thought I’d have time to read behind; when will I learn? Nevertheless it was good to attend the conference and to catch up with some familiar faces of yesteryear. There was also a surprisingly great strand of talks on face recognition running for almost the entire duration of the conference.

I delivered a presentation of a project I conducted with Dr. Lauren Knott, City University London, exploring the effect of sleep on emotional false memory recall. (Sleep selectively enhances recall for such words, incidentally! Doesn’t sleep always enhance these things?!) I must try to deliver more poster presentations I think as there seems to be more opportunity for relevant discussion. In fact I’m presenting the same data as a poster at the British Sleep Society conference in Newcastle in October, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

It was helpful to refresh my ideas surrounding the data that Lauren and I gathered and to learn about other projects, broad as they may be. Note to self: next time try not to plan to conduct several projects whilst at a conference. Multi-tasking is not effective!

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