In her 26-year career studying language comprehension and production, cognitive psychologist Randi C. Martin, PhD, has used all of the research tools at her disposal. She's conducted basic cognitive research as well as neuroimaging studies and neuropsychological studies of brain-damaged patients.
"I've always felt like I have to keep up with the literature in many different areas for my own research," says Martin, chair of the psychology department at Rice University in Houston. Now, as the incoming editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition (JEP:LMC), she hopes to bring that same broad definition of learning, memory and cognition to the journal's pages, and to include more cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience studies.
"The whole field seems to be heading more in a more biological direction," she says.
Martin emphasizes that she still plans to publish primarily standard cognitive research, for which the journal has long been a prestigious outlet.
"I certainly don't want to discourage submissions of important behavioral findings and their theo
retical interpretations," she says. But, she adds, all researchers will benefit from exposure to a broader array of research. Right now, she says, cognitive theorists are missing out on relevant cognitive neuroscience research, and neuroscientists are missing valuable cri
tiques from cognitive theorists: "These things show up in entirely different journals, and people don't necessarily read them all."
In particular, she plans to publish four or five special sections in the journal during her tenure that will address one topic-such as, for example, sentence comprehension-from a variety of angles, including basic cognitive and cognitive neuroscience perspectives.
Martin says most of the journal's editorial board will continue to be researchers who take a standard cognitive-behavioral approach. To attract neuroscience researchers to the journal, however, Martin plans to recruit researchers who have expertise in basic cognition and cognitive neuroscience to compose one-third of her editorial board. Adjusting the makeup of the editorial board should help to encourage neuropsychological and neuroimaging submissions, Martin says.
Martin, who is the first woman editor of JEP:LMC and is a co-founder of the group Women in Cognitive Science (WICS), also says that she will work to ensure that the number of women on the journal's editorial board reflects their representation in the field. WICS is supported by a National Science Foundation grant and provides support and professional development opportunities to women in cognitive science.
Martin is not new to the journal-editing world-she has been an associate editor of the journals Cognitive Neuropsychology and Psychonomic Bulletin and Review and has served on the editorial boards of seven other journals-and, she says, she knows how much work editing a journal can take. Once her term as Rice University psychology department chair ends in July 2006, she plans to cut back on other professional commitments so that she can fully concentrate on the journal.
"I'm excited about becoming the editor of this journal, and having the opportunity to bring a bit more cognitive neuroscience to its pages," she says.