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Graduate Office

Sherri Gilliland, Graduate Records



Department of Psychology 
125 Moore Building 
The Pennsylvania State University 
University Park, PA 16802-3106

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The Cognitive Psychology program at Penn State emphasizes research and theory in a variety of subareas of cognitive psychology and human performance, including language, learning, memory, perception, and rhythms of human behavior..

Cognitive Area faculty investigate a wide range of topics including language, learning, memory, perception, and rhythms of human behavior. We use a wide range of methodological approaches in our research including functional neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG, DTI), behavioral approaches, as well as computational and mathematical modeling.  Our area promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration through an extensive network of university affiliations that facilitate research initiatives spanning the globe.

We are committed to providing students with high quality training in an atmosphere that promotes many formal and informal interactions with faculty and peers from around the department and the university. Our program is tailored to meet the individual needs of our students. Students may choose to participate in the APA award-winning Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) program, or select from a variety of minors and dual-degree options as appropriate. For more information, see the Prospective Graduate Students page.

 Cognitive area news!

Dr. Nancy Dennis and Christina Webb were featured on WJAC-TV 6 news about their recent research on false memories and aging



Congratulations to Jonathan Hakun, who was recently awarded two NIH/National Institute on Aging grants related to brain and physical health in aging: a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award and a R01 Project Grant in collaboration with Principle Investigator Suzanne Segerstrom at the University of Kentucky. 


We are happy to welcome Dr. Larry Jacoby to Penn State! 

Congrats to Suzy Scherf, who was recently granted an R01 for a project titled 'Investigating dynamic neural systems underlying changing social representations of faces during development'. Click here for more information! 


Congratulations to Dr. Kaitlyn Litcofsky, who successfully defended her dissertation in August, and will be starting a postdoctoral position at Northwestern University!

Congratulations to Dr. Caitlin Ting, a recent graduate of the Cognitive Area, who has started her new position as Interim Director of the University Fellowships Office and who was recently spotlighted in this Penn State News article!


Congratulations to Garrett Swan who successfully defended his dissertation on May 11, 2017!

Congrats to Dr. Nancy Dennis who has been nominated and elected to Memory Disorders Research Society (MDRS), a professional society dedicated to the study of memory and memory disorders. Members of the MDRS are engaged in a broad range of basic and clinical research, with the general aim of determining how memory works and how it malfunctions. Membership in the society is limited and by invitation only.

Congratulations to Angela Grant (Advisor: Ping Li) and Garrett Swan who have accepted postdoctoral positions for the upcoming year! Angela received a Horizon Postdoc Fellowship to work with Natalie Phillips at Concordia University, and Garrett will be a postdoc at the Shepens Eye Research Institute at Harvard!

Ping Li was recently interviewed by Francois Grosjean!

Congratulations to Angela Grant who has recently had another article posted on the  Cognitive Science Society Blog! She also had an article posted on the homepage of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society!  


Congratulations to Suzy Scherf and Lisa Whyte whose recently NIMH funded autism intervention video game project was featured in the Penn State News!

Dr. Nancy Dennis, an Associate Professor, was also recently featured in a news article at Elon University for the grant she received with Dr. Amy Overman. 

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