Sandia Neuroscience

Michael Trumbo, PhD

Cognitive Neuroscience

Michael Trumbo is a Senior Member of Technical Staff in the Cognitive Science and Systems department (1463) at Sandia National Laboratories. His primary research interest is improvement of human performance, with an emphasis on operations environments. He received a Ph.D in cognitive psychology with a concentration in cognitive neuroscience from the University of New Mexico in 2016 and a BS in psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Parkside in 2008. His work at Sandia has employed a variety of methods, including brain stimulation, eye tracking, and EEG, and has centered on assessment of cognitive state and improvement of human learning and memory.


Research Areas

Cognitive Neuroscience

-Investigating the effects of tDCS on learning, memory, and attention

-Real-time assessment of cognitive state using eye-tracking and EEG

Operational Environments

-Assessing and predicting human performance in the domains of cybersecurity and visual search for threat detection


Selected Publications

  1. Trumbo, M. C., Jones, A. P., Robinson, C. S., Cole, K., & Morrow, J. D. (2017). Name that tune: mitigation of driver fatigue via a song naming game. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 108, 275-284.
  2. Matzen, L. E., Trumbo, M. C., Haass, M. J., Hunter, M. A., Silva, A., Stevens-Adams, S. M., ... & O’Rourke, P. (2016). Practice makes imperfect: Working memory training can harm recognition memory performance. Memory & Cognition, 44(8), 1168-1182.
  3. Trumbo, M. C., Matzen, L. E., Coffman, B. A., Hunter, M. A., Jones, A. P., Robinson, C. S., & Clark, V. P. (2016). Enhanced working memory performance via transcranial direct current stimulation: The possibility of near and far transfer. Neuropsychologia, 93, 85-96.
  4. Trumbo, M. C., Armenta, M. L., Haass, M. J., Butler, K. M., Jones, A. P., & Robinson, C. S. (2016, July). Real Time Assessment of Cognitive State: Research and Implementation Challenges. In International Conference on Augmented Cognition (pp. 107-119). Springer International Publishing.
  5. Trumbo, M. C., Leiting, K. A., McDaniel, M. A., & Hodge, G. K. (2016). Effects of reinforcement on test-enhanced learning in a large, diverse introductory college psychology course. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 22(2), 148.
  6. Leach, R. C., McCurdy, M. P., Trumbo, M. C., Matzen, L. E., & Leshikar, E. D. (2016). Transcranial stimulation over the left inferior frontal gyrus increases false alarms in an associative memory task in older adults. Healthy Aging Research, 5(8), 1-10.
  7. Matzen, L. E., Trumbo, M. C., Leach, R. C., & Leshikar, E. D. (2015). Effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on associative memory. Brain Research, 1624, 286-296.
  8. Trumbo, M. C., Matzen, L. E., Silva, A., Haass, M. J., Divis, K., & Speed, A. (2015, August). Through A Scanner Quickly: Elicitation of P3 in Transportation Security Officers Following Rapid Image Presentation and Categorization. In International Conference on Augmented Cognition (pp. 348-360). Springer, Cham.
  9. Hunter, M. A., Coffman, B. A., Gasparovic, C., Calhoun, V. D., Trumbo, M. C., & Clark, V. P. (2015). Baseline effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on glutamatergic neurotransmission and large-scale network connectivity. Brain Research, 1594, 92-107.
  10. Forsythe, C., Liao, H., Trumbo, M. C. S., & Cardona-Rivera, R. E. (2014). Cognitive neuroscience of human systems: work and everyday life. CRC Press.
  11. Clark, V. P., Coffman, B. A., Trumbo, M. C., & Wegele, A. R. (2014). An Evolutionary Perspective on Attentional Processes. Cognitive Electrophysiology of Attention: Signals of the Mind, 207-215.
  12. Hunter, M. A., Coffman, B. A., Trumbo, M. C., & Clark, V. P. (2013). Tracking the neuroplastic changes associated with transcranial direct current stimulation: a push for multimodal imaging. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7.
  13. Coffman, B. A., Trumbo, M. C., & Clark, V. P. (2012). Enhancement of object detection with transcranial direct current stimulation is associated with increased attention. BMC Neuroscience, 13(1), 108.
  14. Coffman, B. A., Trumbo, M. C., Flores, R. A., Garcia, C. M., Van Der Merwe, A. J., Wassermann, E. M., ... & Clark, V. P. (2012). Impact of tDCS on performance and learning of target detection: interaction with stimulus characteristics and experimental design. Neuropsychologia, 50(7), 1594-1602.
  15. Trumbo, M., & Forsythe, C. (2012). Sustaining an Intellectual Balance of Power between the US and China. Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics & Policy, 3(1).
  16. Clark, V. P., Coffman, B. A., Trumbo, M. C., & Gasparovic, C. (2011). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) produces localized and specific alterations in neurochemistry: a 1 H magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Neuroscience letters, 500(1), 67-71.
  17. Trumbo, M., Stevens-Adams, S., Hendrickson, S., Abbott, R., Haass, M., & Forsythe, C. (2011). Individual differences and the science of human performance. Foundations of Augmented Cognition. Directing the Future of Adaptive Systems, 46-54.