Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Eric Gobel

Title: Advanced Lecturer/Neuroscience Program Co-Director
Office: Coffey 403
Phone: 773.508.3095

Background Information
B.S. - Preprofessional Studies/Biology - University of Notre Dame
Ph.D. - Neuroscience - Northwestern University
Classes Taught
NEUR 101 Introduction to Neuroscience
PSYC 251 Learning and Memory
PSYC 306 Research Methods in Psychology
PSYC 312 Laboratory in Cognitive Neuroscience
PSYC 314 Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology
Additional Information
Research Interests
My research focuses broadly on the psychology and neuroscience of memory: how the brain stores information by adaptively changing as a result of experience (neuroplasticity), with the potential to influence future behavior.  More specifically, I am interested in the neural basis of nondeclarative memory phenomena that operate largely outside of awareness.  The encoding of procedural memories, such as skill learning, results from cooperation across a wide-ranging network of brain regions including the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and cerebral cortex.
Many of our everyday skills, such as riding a bike through city streets or hitting a pitched ball in rec-league softball, require the performance of finely-tuned sets of movements in response to perceptual information in the environment.  My previous research suggests that learning of such precisely timed perceptual-motor sequences is highly specific, showing little transfer to alterations of timing or order.  This skill learning is dependent upon intact dopamine signaling in the basal ganglia and is reflected in decreased activation of perceptual-motor cortical areas related to task performance.  In future research, I seek to study additional behavioral and neurobiological factors affecting skill acquisition, transfer specificity, and neuroplasticity.
I have employed a mix of behavioral and neuroscientific approaches in my research, including functional neuroimaging (fMRI) and studies of neurological populations, with plans to expand my neuroscientific toolkit to utilize electrophysiological (EEG/ERP), optical imaging (fNIRS), pharmacological, and brain stimulation techniques.
Gobel, E. W., Blomeke, K., Zadikoff, C., Simuni, T., Weintraub, S., & Reber, P. J. (2013).  Implicit perceptual-motor skill learning in mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson’s disease.  Neuropsychology, 27, 314-321.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032305
Antony, J. W., Gobel, E. W., O’Hare, J. K., Reber, P. J., & Paller, K. A. (2012).  Cued memory reactivation during sleep influences skill learning.  Nature Neuroscience, 15, 1114-1116.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3152
Gobel, E. W., Parrish, T. B., & Reber, P. J. (2011).  Neural correlates of skill acquisition: Decreased cortical activity during a serial interception sequence learning task.  NeuroImage, 58, 1150-1157.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.06.090
Gobel, E. W., Sanchez, D. J., & Reber, P. J. (2011).  Integration of temporal and ordinal information during serial interception sequence learning.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37, 994-1000.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022959
Reber, P. J., Sanchez, D. J., & Gobel, E. W. (2011).  Models of sequential learning.  Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Complex Systems.
Sanchez, D. J., Gobel, E. W., & Reber, P. J. (2010).  Performing the unexplainable: Implicit task performance reveals individually reliable sequence learning without explicit knowledge.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17, 790-796.  https://doi.org/10.3758/pbr.17.6.790