Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Judith Rudolph

Date of news: 4 December 2018

JLRWhat's your name, nationality, current function, and department?
Judith Lore Rudolph, German/Dutch, PhD student at the Donders Centre for Cognition at the sensorimotor lab.

What is the topic of your PhD project and what does your work look like in practice?
The topic of my PhD project is on how we adapt our movements based on changes in the environment. Motor adaptation is thought to arise from multiple processes that learn and retain within different time frames. While some processes are fast in learning and forgetting, others are much slower and thus much more rigid. I am particularly interested in how these processes relate to the declarative memory system. My work in practice includes modeling, setting up experiments, testing participants and supervising students.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was younger I wanted to be many things. To name a few I wanted to be a hairdresser, a chemist, a designer and a psychologist. But most of all I to be an adult when I was younger.

What has your career path been so far and how did you come to your current position?
After finishing my high school degree in Rottweil (Germany), I worked as a volunteer in a social psychiatry. After this, I did my bachelor in psychology and my master in Cognitive neuroscience at the Radboud University. During my bachelors as well as my master my main interest was on how we change our behavior due to a constantly changing environment.

What does your perfect weekend look like?
My perfect weekend is starts with having nothing planned for the whole weekend on Thursday evening and ends up being spent with my friends or family. It would of course help if there is good food, sunshine, outdoor sports, and drinks involved. However, it is already perfect if I feel free to do whatever I like to do in it.

What is your favorite book and why?
I haven’t had a favorite book in a while. In general I like fantasy books that can take me into a different world. The last favorite books I can remember were the Tintenwelt Trilogie of Cornelia Funke.

What is an important life lesson you have learned in the past?
That you shouldn’t try to worry about the things you cannot control. Whatever wrong decisions you have made in the past, you cannot change. The things you can change are the way you handle with the consequences now.

What are you looking forward to in life?
I am looking forward to being an old lady, sitting in a rocking chair and looking back at every aspect of my life with a smile.

What is the most important advice you want to share with Donders PhD candidates?
To keep your balance between work and free time.

What aspect of your job do you excel at?
I am very thorough in my work. I am good at keeping track of many little details (for example in programming) and combining them into a bigger picture. Additionally, I am very creative in finding solutions for my self-inflicted problems.

What aspect of your job is or has been a challenge for you?
Being very thorough I like to spend a lot of hours improving and further investigating every aspect of my work. Since there is only a limited amount of time in life this can be challenging at some time. This means that I always end up with either feeling like I do not get things done or that they do not fulfill my standards.