Research

The study of cognition takes place within the controlled situations of the laboratory and the natural situations of the everyday world, as well as through modeling and simulation studies of these situations. The unit under study ranges from the individual neuron, to neural systems, to the individual person, to social groups in which language, social organization, and culture play important roles.

The underlying philosophy of the department challenges faculty and students to be knowledgeable in and sympathetic to a wide variety of fields and techniques. For example, required topics for both undergraduates and graduates include courses in behavior, computation, and the neurobiological basis of cognition.

Featured Projects

  • Creative Cognition in Dance

    Creative Cognition in Dance

    How are dancers used as things to think with? What is the nature of choreographic thinking? How does distributed problem solving work in this sort of domain? 

  • Flexible Problem Solving

    Flexible Problem Solving

    Flexibility is the ability to adapt to new situations, and is an important indicator in child development.

  • Time and gesture among the Yupno of Papua New Guinea

    Time and gesture among the Yupno of Papua New Guinea

    How do humans conceptualize time? One clear pattern is that temporal concepts are based on spatial ones, however how this is done is not universally determined in the human brain and varies significantly across cultures.
  • Considering the Source

    Considering the Source

    What information can young children use to aid them in understanding spoken language? Recent work in the Creel lab shows that preschoolers are able to use who is talking to limit the set of things that person might talk about.

  • Prediction during language comprehension? Brainwaves say yes!

    Prediction during language comprehension? Brainwaves say yes!

    Though prediction has been proposed across a variety of neural domains, language has not traditionally been one of them - until recently. Using event-related brain potentials, we show that prediction is part and parcel of sentence comprehension.

  • Perception of Artificial Agents

    Perception of Artificial Agents

    Artificial agents such as humanoid robots and interactive animated characters are rapidly becoming participants in many aspects of social and cultural life. With applications in domains such as education and health care, we need to understand human factors guiding our perceptions of and interactions with these agents.

  • Knowing When to Stop

    Knowing When to Stop

    Inhibitory control is the ability to withhold or modify prepotent or planned actions that are no longer appropriate in a behavioral context. We are studying the computational and neurophysiological basis of inhibitory control in healthy individuals and those affected by conditions such as ADHD and stimulant abuse.

  • Hippocampus has its cake and eats it too

    Hippocampus has its cake and eats it too

    The ability to recall our experiences as they evolved over time is truly an impressive feat accomplished in large part through the working of a thumb-sized portion of the brain called the hippocampus. How the brain encodes memories is a difficult, but exciting and burgeoning area of neuroscientific research.

  • Driven to Distraction

    Driven to Distraction

    People drive more poorly when they're talking on the phone. What is it about having a conversation that interferes with steering, changing gears, and noticing brake lights?

  • Supporting An Integrated Paper-Digital Workflow for Observational Research

    Supporting An Integrated Paper-Digital Workflow for Observational Research

  • Supporting Medical Communication for Older Patients with a Shared Touch-Screen Computer

    Supporting Medical Communication for Older Patients with a Shared Touch-Screen Computer

    The introduction of computer workstations into the medical interview process makes it important to consider the impact of such technology on older patients as well as new types of interfaces that may better suit the needs of older adults.

  • Visual Navigation of Time-Coded Data

    Visual Navigation of Time-Coded Data

    ChronoViz is a tool to aid visualization and analysis of multimodal sets of time-coded information, with a focus on the analysis of video in combination with other data sources.

  • Hearing it in Your Head

    Hearing it in Your Head

    Do you cringe when you hear that song you used to play in beginner band? Research in the Creel lab suggests a reason why.

  • Deeply-Supervised Nets

    Deeply-Supervised Nets

    A deep learning formulation that introduces deep supervision to neural networks.