Nelly Matorina

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“My earliest memory is of a dream.”
Anne Carson, Every Exit is an Entrance (A Praise of Sleep)
My research seeks to understand the role of sleep and dreaming in consolidating our memories for events, with a focus on autobiographical and naturalistic memories. 

I am currently a PhD candidate in Psychology at the University of Toronto working with Dr. Morgan Barense. Previously,  I completed a MSc in Psychology at Queen’s University working with Dr. Jordan Poppenk

During my PhD, I had the opportunity to work with CT, a kind, bright, and friendly young woman with a unique case of sleep-related amnesia following damage to her fornix. We published a case study on CT showing that she could remember several details about a TV show if she stayed awake, but would forget any details about the TV show, as well as the experimenter, if she took a nap. We also investigated whether the drawing effect, the mnemonic benefit of drawing over writing, could extend to CT due to the engagement of preserved brain regions outside of the hippocampal system. Whereas CT’s memory for written words was consistently impaired relative to controls, her memory for drawn words was at the lower control range following a waking delay and above chance following a sleep delay, indicating that drawing may be a powerful tool to develop memory interventions in those with hippocampal system damage.

I also recently published a review paper on sleep and autobiographical memory.