Cognitive

  1. Cognitive
  2. Developmental

Brown, Frederick

  1. Ph.D., 1971, University of Virginia
f3b@psu.edu

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Frederick Brown investigates the neurobehavioral rhythms of life that underlie all human activity. They include daily (circadian, sleep/wake), monthly (lunar phase, reproductive), and seasonal ("wintertime blues") rhythms. His research involves measuring the daily rhythms of cognitive and performance variables, and determining any effects on them from fatigue and sleep deprivation. His collaborators include human factors and engineering colleagues at the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, and scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, Silver Spring, MD.

Carlson, Richard

  1. Ph.D., 1984, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
racarlson@psu.edu

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Richard Carlson is studying how individuals control their mental activity in complex tasks such as symbolic and spatial problem solving and reasoning. His current research is concerned primarily with the roles of spatial and temporal frames of reference in the conscious control of skilled mental activity. His major conceptual focus is developing a theory of consciousness that relates conscious agency and information processing accounts of cognitive control. This theory emphasizes the parallel structures of perceptual, symbolic, and emotional awareness.

Dennis, Nancy

  1. Ph.D., 2004, The Catholic University of America
nad12@psu.edu

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My research focuses on elucidating the cognitive and neural mechanisms that support learning and memory in young and older adults. I employ both behavioral and neuroimaging methods, including diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) to explore the interaction of cognitive and neural processes involved in episodic memory. While my primary research investigates the neural correlates of item memory during both encoding and retrieval, my research also examines the neural processes associated with relational memory and false memory. With respect to cognitive aging, my research concentrates on the examination of age-related neural markers of cognitive decline, as well as mechanisms for neural compensation. Other lines of research include both implicit learning and genetic neuroimaging.

Gilmore, Rick

  1. Ph.D., 1997, Carnegie Mellon University
rogilmore@psu.edu

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Rick Gilmore's research asks three questions: What are the representations underlying spatial perception and action? How are these representations instantiated in the brain? How do they develop, and why? The developmental cognitive neuroscience approach he takes to these questions combines insights from behavioral studies, biological experiments, and computational models. The ultimate aim is a unified, biologically and computationally plausible, account of the development of spatial perception and action early in life.

Li, Ping

  1. Ph.D., 1990, Leiden University
pul8@psu.edu

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Ping Li examines the computational and neural processes that underlie the acquisition and representation of monolingual (native) and bilingual (native and non-native) languages. It focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in the language learner and the dynamic interactions that occur in the competing language systems over the course of learning. In particular, his research attempts to identify the computational mechanisms and the neural structures that characterize the interactive dynamics underlying the learning of one or multiple lexical systems (e.g., words acquired early by children and by Chinese-English bilinguals). Researchers in his lab use self-organizing neural networks to simulate lexical development, and use ERP and fMRI methods to investigate the neural mechanisms that subserve lexical organization and competition in the monolingual and the bilingual brain.

Van Hell, Janet

  1. Ph. D., 1998, University of Amsterdam
jgv3@psu.edu

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Janet Van Hell is interested in the cognitive and neural processes related to language development and language use. There are two broad themes to her current research. One focuses on cognitive and neural processes that enable the learning and use of multiple languages in bilinguals at different levels of proficiency. Her students and her study developmental patterns of cross-language interaction and transfer related to lexical and morpho-syntactic processing, as well as neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in language-switching. They also study sign-speech bilinguals who use spatial and oral languages from two different modalities. The second research theme focuses on language development in school-aged children with typical or atypical development (including children with dyslexia or with specific language impairment, children who are deaf, and bilingual children from an ethnic minority background).

Weiss, Daniel

  1. Ph.D., 2000, Harvard University
djw21@psu.edu

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Daniel Weiss is interested in the cognitive mechanisms underlying language acquisition. This work focuses on statistical learning mechanisms that have been implicated in the learning of phonetic categories, as well as word segmentation and rule-learning. He uses a comparative approach in order to determine whether these abilities are unique to humans. His research compares the abilities of infant and adult humans with the abilities of non-human primates. In addition, he is interested in animal communication, particularly vocal learning and recognition.

Wyble, Bradley

  1. Ph.D., 2003, Harvard University
bpw10@psu.edu

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Brad Wyble studies visual cognition with an emphasis on exploring how a visual stimulus becomes a consciously accessible representation. His work incorporates theories of temporal attention and consolidation of memory representations as well as the capture of attention by task relevant stimuli.  This research uses a combination of behavioral and electrophysiological data collection to provide constraints on neurocomputational models of the visual system.

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