Anushka Oak - University of Houston
Skip to main content


Anushka Oak

  • Degree: Biology, BS & Spanish, BA ('22)
  • OURMA Programs: Houston Scholars, HERE, SURF, PURS
  • Major Awards and Fellowships: Fulbright Research Grant (Spain)

Current Pursuits

Currently, I am on a Fulbright grant in Donosti-San Sebastian, Spain. I work as a predoctoral researcher at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language where my research focuses on structural and functional neuroimaging analysis on the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon in order to better understand language, memory, and aging.

Undergraduate Research Projects

I became involved in cognitive neuroscience research my freshman year and through the Honors College and OURMA, I first participated in the Houston Scholars program. Here I received mentorship from Dr. Rayder and a scholarship to continue research and pursue internships. Through OURMA, I received the Houston Early Research Experience (HERE), Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), and Provost's Undergraduate Research Scholarship (PURS) to study dual-tasking and support vector machine learning with Dr. Ben Tamber-Rosenau. Simultaneously, I had been working with Dr. Arturo Hernandez as a research assistant to study the effects of aging and genetic variation on cognition and language.

Favorite Undergraduate Research Memory

One of my favorite memories is presenting at Undergraduate Research Day! Not only was it exciting to experience presenting my own poster, but I enjoyed seeing many other posters from varying research fields!

What do you value most about your undergraduate research experience?

Whether through OURMA or either lab, my mentors have guided me on how to approach graduate school and research. In the world of NSM, where everyone seems to be pre-med, my mentors at UH truly took the time to introduce me to the field of cognitive neuroscience and what pursuing a PhD would mean for me. This was crucial for me as I began to seek out experiences or even take classes that were different than a typical Biology major’s track. Through my conversations with my professors, I knew that I wanted to pursue graduate school and could see that in my future.

How did undergraduate research prepare you for what you are currently doing?

My undergraduate research experience included invaluable experiences and conversations with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. These interactions developed my technical skills in lab, offered career advice, and introduced me to other research opportunities (such as Fulbright).

Advice for Students Interested in Undergraduate Research

My piece of advice would be to always reach out to labs and professors if you find their research interesting! I know cold emailing can be extremely intimidating, and often discouraging, but most professors (especially at UH) are extremely receptive to curious students!