PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Eiling Yee, Assistant Professor
Department of Psychological Sciences; Cognitive Science Program; Connecticut Institute for Brain and Cognitive Sciences
The goal of much of the research in my lab is to understand how meaning is represented (how do you know what a lemon, or joy is?) —particularly the cognitive and neural representations of concepts. An area of particular interest is the relationship between context (e.g., perceptual information and experiences) and language and/or conceptual processing. I also have interests in spoken word recognition and language processing more broadly.
Office: Bousfield 170; Lab: Arjona 310
POST DOC & LAB MANAGER
Gitte Joergensen is interested in how we represent different dimensions of events during language processing. More specifically, she is interested in how changes in time, and state are processed and integrated into current event representations. For example, in sentences like “The woman will drop the ice cream. But first, she will look at the ice cream”, we must maintain two distinct representations of the ice cream – before and after it was dropped. But how do these representations interact as language unfolds?
Office: Arjona 308
Charles Davis is interested in semantic representation in language, and the neural circuits that support these representations. His current work investigates the interaction of semantic and episodic memory in the processing of abstract concepts, and the role of the hippocampus in this relation. He is also interested in the distributed representation of semantic memory across sensorimotor areas of the brain (the extent to which sensory, perceptual, and motor areas are involved in processing language), and how these ideas may connect to language creation and, from an evolutionary perspective, non-human communication.
Office: Arjona 300
Hannah Morrow is interested in the neural organization of semantic memory, particularly the ways in which we acquire and use our knowledge of concepts. Her current work focuses on the integration of concept knowledge across modalities and the neural circuits supporting this process. She is also interested in the differences between the representations of abstract compared to concrete concepts, and the different mechanisms underlying how these types of concepts are stored and retrieved.
Office: Arjona 300
Hannah Mechtenberg’s previous research interests focused on the frontal lobe and its function in speech perception, and the role of the basal ganglia during category learning. Her current interests are in how analogical reasoning interacts with language processing during learning. She anticipates using behavioral and functional neuroimaging methods to investigate the interplay between these two systems. She is also interested in the utility of analogies during learning of STEM concepts. She is co-advised by Dr. Emily Myers.
Office: Phillips Communication Sciences Building, Room 143
Nathan Lautz studies the neurocognitive basis of concepts. He’s interested in how conceptual knowledge comes to be grounded through experience in the world, with at least some aspects of meaning consequently stored in corresponding sensorimotor and affective systems in the brain. His research addresses how this grounding affects the format and content of mental representation.
Office: Arjona 300
Elizabeth Collin: is pursuing a master’s degreee in Speech-Language Pathology in the SLHS Department. Her interests include the neuroscience of language, dyslexia, literacy, and developmental language disorders.
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS & RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Sydney Darling is a Physiology and Neurobiology major on a pre-med track. She hopes to pursue a career as a pediatrician. She is interested in neural representations of abstract concepts and semantic memory.
Cheyenne Harris-Starling is a Cognitive Science Major with a minor in neuroscience. She hopes to obtain a Master’s or Ph.D. and pursue a career in neuroscience research. She is currently interested in how abstract concepts are represented in the brain.
Qi Xia: is a Computer Science and Cognitive Science major. She is planning to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Human-Centered Design or Cognitive Science. She is interested in investigating how people perceive and understand concepts and ultimately in how to apply that knowledge into industrial or product design for achieving a better user experience.
Roshini Senthilkumar is a Physiology and Neurobiology major in the honors program. She is currently on the pre-med track and hopes to obtain an M.D. to pursue a career as a pediatrician. She is interested in the representation of abstract concepts in the brain and its relationship with semantic memory.
Shaina Selvaraju is currently pre-med and pursuing a degree in the Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology. She is interested in the processes behind speech and language perception and how our experiences get turned into memory. She would like to eventually do research in the neurosciences after obtaining an M.D.
Jamie Pergolizzi is majoring in Biological Sciences with hopes to pursue a career in physical therapy. She is interested in the ways in which concepts are represented in the brain and how they are retrieved from memory.
Manjari Mishra is a Physiology and Neurobiology Major with a minor in Psychology. She hopes to get my Masters/Ph.D. and is particularly interested in how the brain perceives outer concepts and its role in semantic memory and how our output signals.
Jhoan Rodriguez is majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology and Spanish. He is minoring in psychology and is on the pre-med track hoping to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist. He is interested in cognitive and neural representation of abstract and concrete concepts
Jovana Pejovic (Lab Fonetica e Fonological & Baby Lab (FULL), University of Lisbon) is interested in early language development; Preverbal infants; Infant speech perception development; Infant (audio-visual) speech processing; Bilingual language acquisition; Eye-tracking with infants; Electroencephalography (EEG) with infants; Behavioural looking time techniques with infants. Jovana completed her PhD in 2019 at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastian, Spain, where she was co-supervised by Monika Molnar (now at University of Toronto).
Peter Boddy (University of East Anglia) is interested in the semantic representation of concepts in the brain. He is particularly interested in sensorimotor/grounded accounts of knowledge and how context, whether it be the environment you are in, the activities you are multitasking or the idiosyncrasies of your previous experiences, affects how you think about objects. Peter completed his PhD in 2020 at the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) in San Sebastian, Spain, where he was co-supervised by Kepa Paz-Alonso. He is currently investigating the interaction of language vision and action as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of East Anglia (UK), where he is supervised by Kenny Coventry.
UNDERGRADUATE LAB ALUMNI