The Brain &
Cognition Laboratory is located in rooms 216 and 218 of Social Science
Research Laboratories (formerly known as the Chemistry Research
Building: CRB) on the UCSD campus. Our focus
is on the cognitive and neural processes underlying language and
Most of our experiments involve measuring your reaction times and your
brain potentials (ERPs) while you're reading or looking at pictures.
- Seana Coulson, Ph.D. Principal
Brang is a graduate student in the Psychology Department working
with Professor Ramachandran. His research concerns the interface
between perceptual and conceptual processing with a focus on
synesthesia and other neurological conditions that affect one's
conscious experience of the world.
- Jennifer Collins is a graduate
student in the Cognitive Science Department. Her research concerns the
cognitive and neural underpinnings of motion verb comprehension, and
the tenability of theories of meaning grounded in sensorimotor
Davenport is a graduate student in the Cognitive Science
Department interested in the neural representation of language. His
current research project concerns the contribution of the left versus
right cerebral hemisphere to the comprehension of language of varying
degrees of semantic complexity.
McQuire is a graduate student in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral
Program in Language and Communicative Disorders. Her research concerns
the impact of individual differences in verbal and visuo-spatial
working memory on text comprehension.
- Ying Wu, Ph.D. is a
post-doctoral fellow using electrophysiological measures to study how
people integrate the information in gestures with the information in
speech in multi-modal discourse comprehension.
- Electrophysiological and Reaction
Time Studies of Language and Cognition
- Multi-modal Discourse Comprehension
- Lesion-Symptom Mapping in Pragmatic
- How to sign up for experiments
the Brain & Cognition Lab (858-822-4037) to see if you qualify for
of our on-going experiments! If you get the machine, leave your name,
and the best time to reach you. You can also email one of the
the lab (ywu "at" cogsci.ucsd.edu) and ask for more information.
- What's in it for me? Besides
to see your own brainwaves, you can receive either cash compensation
for time in the lab), or credit towards an experiment participation
for cognitive science (and sometimes psychology) courses.
- What if I have a last minute
Please call the lab (858-822-4037) and tell us (or the voice mail) when
appointment was and that you can't make it. If you want to reschedule
another time, leave your number and we will contact you. You don't need
reason to cancel, and you shouldn't feel obliged to reschedule. Please do
let us know that you can't make it, though!
- When do you run experiments? We
to find a convenient time for both the experimenter and the
Our typical running times are Monday - Friday at 10am or 1pm, but other
are possible. Also, most experimenters are more than happy to come in
the weekend (free parking on campus!).
- What to expect When you first
in, you have to sign a couple of forms. One is a consent form which
that you know what to expect, and after reading this, you do. Sometimes
ask you to fill out a handedness questionaire that asks which hand you
to perform certain tasks, like writing and throwing. Sometimes we give
simple tests of your cognitive abilities (vocabulary tests, working
span tests, etc.). Putting on the electrode cap takes about half an
Usually there are some practice trials so that you can get a feel for
task used in the experiment. The length of the actual experiment ranges
40 to 90 minutes. Sometimes, we split experiments across multiple days
we always let you know ahead of time!). There are regularly scheduled
You may ask for a break whenever you want. You can also end the
whenever you like, if you change your mind about participating.
- The Cap In order for the
to record your brainwaves, you wear an electrode cap. Each electrode is
the top of a little plastic well, so it doesn't contact your scalp.
saline gel is squirted into a well to make a conductive bridge between
and electrode. The gel looks like vaseline, but it isn't sticky and it
out with water. We also put electrodes behind your ears (to serve as
electrodes for the ones in the cap), and around your eyes to monitor
and eye movements.
- Blinking The eye electrodes are
to record eye movements and blinks. The electricity generated by these
can be measured over most of the scalp. This means that whenever you
your eyes or blink, the data that are being collected at that time must
thrown out. This is the reason that the stimuli are presented one at a
in the center of the screen -- to eliminate eye movements. Most of the
you'll be free to blink.