Participating Faculty Mentors - REU2014

Participating faculty mentors (PFM) are drawn from a wide variety of research areas such as Child Development; Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Decision Science, Human Factors; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Educational Psychology, Kinesiology, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Behavioral Pharmacology, Psychology, Linguistics, Speech/Language/Hearing Science (Communication Disorders), and related areas. In the list below, you will find brief descriptions of PFM activities and relevant references. On your REU Application, you will have an opportunity to indicate your first, second and third PFM choices. Your assignment to a PFM will reflect a match with the mentor's research area and is subject to the mentor's availability.

Eugene Borgida

photo of Eugene Borgida Psychology

Dr. Borgida's research program reflects his interests in social psychology (social cognition, attitude theory, and persuasion processes), psychology and law, and political psychology. In fact, he is a Professor of Psychology and Law, and co-directs the University's Center for the Study of Political Psychology. His current research project in social psychology involves a multi-method study of the ways in which structural features of attitudes (i.e., the extent to which attitudes are cognition-based vs. affect-based) moderate attitudes and behavior toward the use of harm reduction tobacco products. This project is in collaboration with the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center at the University. Another project in psychology and law examines the use of social science evidence in litigation. A third project in political psychology involves a longitudinal survey and focus group study of the impact of Internet access on civic life in rural Minnesota communities. Students would participate in all phases of each of these projects.

  • Borgida E., Sullivan J.L., Oxendine, A., Jackson, M.S., Riedel, E., & Gangl, A. (2002). Civic culture meets the digital divide: The role of community electronic networks. Journal of Social Issues, 58 (1), 125-141
  • Fiske, S.T., & Borgida, E. (2011). Best practices: How to evaluate psychological science for use by organizations. Research in Organizational Behavior, 31, 253-275.
  • Hunt, C.V., Kim, A., Borgida, E., & Chaiken, S. (2010). Revisiting the self-interest versus. values debate: The role of temporal perspective. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1155-1158.
  • Oyamot, C.M., Jr., Fisher, E.L., Deason, G., & Borgida, E. (2012). Attitudes toward immigrants: The interactive role of the authoritarian predisposition, social norms, and humanitarian values. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 97-105

Scott Crow


Our research group focuses on the study of eating disorders. The work spans a wide variety of aspects of eating disorders, including their description, course, treatment, and complications. However, the main current focus of the research group is on understanding maintaining variables that cause eating disordered symptoms to persist. The ultimate goal is to use information gained about those maintaining variables to develop more effective treatments.

Relevant Publications:

  • Engel, S.G., S.A. Wonderlich, R.D. Crosby, J.E. Mitchell, S. Crow, C.B. Peterson, D. Le Grange, H.K. Simonich, L. Cao, J.M. Lavender, and K.H. Gordon, The role of affect in the maintenance of anorexia nervosa: Evidence from a naturalistic assessment of momentary behaviors and emotion. J Abnorm Psychol, 2013. 122(3): p. 709-19.
  • Crow, S.J., S.A. Swanson, C.B. Peterson, R.D. Crosby, S.A. Wonderlich, and J.E. Mitchell, Latent class analysis of eating disorders: relationship to mortality. J Abnorm Psychol, 2012. 121(1): p. 225-31.
  • Wonderlich, S.A., C.B. Peterson, R.D. Crosby, T.L. Smith, M.H. Klein, J.E. Mitchell, and S.J. Crow, A randomized controlled comparison of integrative cognitive-affective therapy (ICAT) and enhanced cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT-E) for bulimia nervosa. Psychol Med, 2013: p. 1-11.

Colin De Young

photo of Colin De Young Psychology

My research focuses broadly on the structure and sources of personality, attempting to discover the relations among different personality traits and the neurobiological systems that influence them. Psychometric research on personality has demonstrated that five broad domains (the "Big Five") can be used to organize most aspects of personality. They are: Neuroticism (sensitivity to threat and negative emotions); Extraversion (sensitivity to reward and positive emotions, often in social contexts); Agreeableness (altruism, empathy, and cooperation); Conscientiousness (orderliness, industriousness, and constraint); and Openness/Intellect (cognitive flexibility, imagination, and intelligence). Most traits reflecting individual differences in cognition, emotion, motivation, and behavior fall into one of these five domains or can be described in terms of two or more of them. My work has focused on characterizing the Big Five and their relations in ways that are consistent with neurobiological models.

Personality Neuroscience is an emerging field, exploring how individual differences in brain function produce individual differences in personality. My long-term goal is to map personality traits onto their sources in the ongoing functions of the brain, using neuroscience techniques including neuroimaging and molecular genetics. In addition to understanding general personality structure, my research has focused on cognitive abilities (such as intelligence, working memory, decision making, and insight), and externalizing behavior (which includes aggression, antisocial behavior, impulsivity, and drug use). I am interested both in normal personality functioning and in the ways that different personality traits and their underlying functions constitute risks for various forms of psychopathology.

  • DeYoung, C. G., Grazioplene, R. G., Peterson, J. B. (2012). From madness to genius: The Openness/Intellect trait domain as a paradoxical simplex. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 63-78.
  • DeYoung C. G. (2010). Personality neuroscience and the biology of traits. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 4, 1165-1185.
  • DeYoung C. G. (2010). Toward a theory of the Big Five. Psychological Inquiry, 21, 26-33.
  • DeYoung, C. G., Hirsch, J.B., Shane, M. S., Papademetris, X., Rajeevan, N., & Gray, J. R. (2010). Testing predictions from personality neuroscience: Brain structure and the Big Five. Psychological Science, 21, 820-828

Stephen Engel

engel Psychology

Can experience modify your perceptions? Our laboratory attacks this question from many different angles. One current project uses a virtual reality system to place people in a world that is visually just slightly different than our own. We then observe how their visual system adjusts to this different world, using perceptual, EEG, and functional MRI measures. Another project is examining the effects of the numerous visual exposures to product logos we receive due to advertising. Does viewing logos thousands of times alter the way we see them? So far the answer appears to be yes.

  • Bao M, Yang L, Rios C, He B, Engel SA. Perceptual learning increases the strength of the earliest signals in visual cortex. J Neurosci. 2010 Nov 10;30(45):15080-4.
  • Zhang P, Bao M, Kwon M, He S, Engel SA. Effects of orientation-specific visual deprivation induced with altered reality. Curr Biol. 2009 Dec 1;19(22):1956-60.
  • Harley EM, Pope WB, Villablanca JP, Mumford J, Suh R, Mazziotta JC, Enzmann D, Engel SA. Engagement of fusiform cortex and disengagement of lateral occipital cortex in the acquisition of radiologic1al expertise. Cereb Cortex. 2009 Nov;19(11):2746-54
  • Bao M., & Engel S.A. (2012) Distinct mechanism for long-term contrast adaptation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109, 5898-903.

Charles R. Fletcher

randy fletcher Psychology

My research addresses two fundamental questions in the general area of discourse comprehension: How is the meaning of a discourse represented in memory? How is that representation constructed? On the first question, most of my efforts have been directed toward demonstrating experimentally the existence of three levels of representation in memory for discourse: a surface level representation, a propositional textbase, and a situation model. My research into the online processing of discourse has focused on the role of memory and attention in understanding the causal structure of narratives. This research involves both constructing computer models that simulate the flow of ideas through a reader's awareness during narrative comprehension and recall, and conducting experiments with human subjects to evaluate basic assumptions of those models. Recently, this research has branched off in several some directions. First, I have begun investigating how syntactic and semantic factors interact to control a reader's attention. Second, I have begun to examine the generalizability of our results to a new domain: the comprehension of mathematical and logical proofs.

Relevant publications

  • Stephane, M., Pellizzer, G., Fletcher, C. R., McClannahan, K. (2007). Empirical Evaluation of Language Disorder in Schizophrenia. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 32, 250-258.
  • Fletcher, C. R. (2001). Memory for meaning and surface form. In N. J. Smelser & P. B. Baltes (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Amsterdam: Pergamon.
  • Van den Broek, P., Linzie, B., Fletcher, C.R., & Marsolek, C. (2000). The production of novel text ideas: The role of causal constraints and text structure. Memory & Cognition, 28, 711-721.
  • Fletcher, C. R., Lucas, S., & Baron, C. M. (1999). Comprehension of mathematical proofs. In S. R. Goldman, A. C. Graesser, & P. van den Broek (Eds.), Narrative comprehension, causality, and coherence: Essays in honor of Tom Trabasso (pp. 195 -207). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Fletcher, C.R., Arthur, E., & Skeate, R.C. (1995). Top-down effects in a bottom-up model of narrative comprehension and recall. In Weaver, C.A., Mannes, S., & Fletcher, C.R. (Eds.), Discourse comprehension: Essays in honor of Walter Kintsch (pp. 195-210). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Marti Hope Gonzales

photo of Marti Hope Gonzales Psychology

Most recently, graduate students and I have begun preliminary work on just what informs citizens' conceptions of the relationship between government and the public. More specifically, we are interested in testing some of cognitive linguist George Lakoff's ideas about the role of metaphorical thinking in the political domain. Briefly, Lakoff argues that in order to understand large, complex phenomena, people often use smaller, simpler metaphors. For example, in forming concepts of or attitudes toward the relationship between government on the one hand and citizens on the other hand--a complex relationship, of course--people often draw upon their metaphors for what the ideal family should be. According to Lakoff, there are two basic metaphors for family, and these two different metaphorical schemas are differentially associated with political conservatism and liberalism: the "strict father" schema, more likely to be embraced by conservatives, and the "nuturant parent" schema, more likely to be embraced by liberals. He further argues that specific social and political attitudes--toward the death penalty, taxes, multiculturalism, affirmative action, and so on--are informed by these two different schemas, and that what sometimes appear to be inconsistencies among the attitudes of citizens are not inconsistent at all if one considers the implications of adherence to either the "strict father" or "nurturant" parent metaphorical orientations. We have been working to design and validate a measure of respondents' relative endorsement of beliefs that follow from both the "strict father" and "nurturant parent" orientations, and plan to answer a number of questions:

(1) Is endorsement of one or the other orientation related to more specific social and political attitudes?

(2) Do people spontaneously use these metaphors in thinking about the role of government or in advocating for their own social and political attitudes?

(3) Are political messages more effective when they make explicit the tenets of these two metaphorical orientations?

Megan R. Gunnar

Child Development

In my lab we are interested in the effects of early psychosocial deprivation on neurobehavioral development, and in particular, on stress and emotion regulation. Children adopted from orphanages are participants in our work. We are currently studying whether puberty opens a window for recalibration of stress and emotion systems in children. We are studying children 7 through 17 years who have either been adopted form orphanages/institutions or were born into their families in the US. This is a complex study with many moving parts and there will be a lot for REU students to do.

Relevant publications

  • Gunnar, M. R., van Dulmen, M. M. H. (2007). Behavior problems in post-institutionalized internationally adopted children. Development and Psychopathology. 19, 129-148.
  • Tarullo, A. & Bruce, J. & Gunnar, M. R. (2007). False belief and emotion understanding in post-institutionalized children. Social Development, 16, 57-78.
  • Gunnar, M.R. &Quevedo, K.M. (2007). Early care experiences and HPA axis regulation in children: a mechanism for later trauma vulnerability. Progress in Brain Research, 167, 137-149.

Panayiota Kendeou

Panayiota KendeouEducational Psychology

My research program involves the investigation of the cognitive processes that support learning and memory in the context of reading comprehension. I employ two lines of inquiry in my research program: experimental investigations and developmental investigations.

In the experimental line, my goal is to examine the reader and text factors involved in learning from texts. Currently, my focus in this line is on examining the essential ingredients and boundary conditions of knowledge revision. Learning new information from texts necessitates knowledge revision when the reader possesses inaccurate knowledge or misconceptions. I investigate the conditions that promote successful knowledge revision during reading comprehension in the context of a new theoretical framework, the Knowledge Revision Components framework (KReC; Kendeou & O’Brien, in press).

In the developmental line, my goal is to examine the development of higher-order skills that support learning from texts. Currently, my focus in this line is on the development of technology-based, comprehension assessments that will enable reliable and valid measurement of children’s higher-order comprehension skills. These assessments will aid in the diagnosis of comprehension difficulties for children who are not yet proficient readers and for children who exhibit reading difficulties.

  • Kendeou, P., Smith, E. R., & O’Brien, E. J. (2013). Updating During Reading Comprehension: Why Causality Matters. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 39, 854-865.
  • Kendeou, P., Muis, K. R., & Fulton, S. (2011). Reader and text factors on reading comprehension processes. Journal of Research in Reading, 34, 365-383.
  • Kendeou, P., & van den Broek, P. (2007). Interactions between prior knowledge and text structure during comprehension of scientific texts. Memory & Cognition, 35, 1567-1577.
  • Kendeou, P., & van den Broek, P. (2005). The effects of readers’ misconceptions on comprehension of scientific text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 235-245.

Bonnie Klimes-Dougan

Bonnie Klimes-DouganPsychology

My long-term goal is to identify risk factors associated with early stages of depression and suicidal risk in an effort to more effectively intervene. By adolescence, approximately 10 to 15% of the population will experience a clinical depression. Early onset depression tends to be accompanied by a more severe course of subsequent illness and is associated with considerable morbidity (e.g., suicidal behavior). Efforts to target children at risk for depression, prior to or early on in the disease process are thought to be favorable approaches to facilitating adaptation and minimizing risk.

(1) To this end, my work utilizes developmental and neuroscience approaches that examine the stress/emotion regulatory systems implicated in depression. Recent work has focused on systems known to be critical to emotion/stress regulation including the assessment of key front-limbic neurocircuitry (e.g., using imaging techniques) and associated physiological (e.g., HPA axis) systems.

(2) A second theme of my research pertains to identifying factors that potentially modify these risk trajectories and have the potential to influence neurobiological regulatory processes that are disrupted in depressed youth (e.g., parent emotion socialization practices, suicide prevention efforts).

Selected publications

  • Cullen, K.R., Klimes-Dougan, B., Muetzel, R., Mueller, B.A., Camchong, J., Houri, A., Kumra, S., & Lim, K.O. (in press). Altered white matter microstructure in adolescent with major depression: A preliminary study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Klimes-Dougan, B., Lee, C-Y.S. & Houri, A.K. in collaboration with SAVE. (2009). Suicide prevention in adolescence: Considering potential benefits and untoward effects of public service announcements. Crisis: Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 30, 128-135.
  • Klimes-Dougan, B., Lee, C-Y.S., Ronsaville, D., & Martinez, P. (2008). Suicidal risk in young adult offspring of mothers with bipolar or major depressive disorder: A longitudinal family risk study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64, 1-11.

Melissa Koenig

koenig Child Development

My research focuses on how children acquire knowledge from other people. Currently, this question takes two directions: First, I am interested in the social factors that influence their learning about the world and second, I study how children develop a pragmatic understanding of language.

(a) How do infants and young children understand and exploit the distinctive characteristics of other people as sources of information? How do children balance the potential benefit of learning and the risk of being misinformed? When do infants appreciate the possibility that an utterance might be false? Do children and adults evaluate speakers differently? Our research addresses these questions through a range of projects. We are especially interested in how children identify candidate information sources, children's selective trust, notions of reliability, source monitoring, and children's understanding of expertise.

(b) How do we come to understand the internal significance of language? Meaning is connected to speaker-oriented notions like saying, asking, doubting, believing, supposing and so on. The relation between what sentences mean and the intentions that speakers express is complex and subtle. When we mark our intentions toward an utterance in pretend play, for example, we take the utterance off the market for knowledge and put it on a stage for play. The speaker plays an essential role in determining whether knowledge is to be acquired via testimony in any given instance. How do children learn about the many pragmatic functions of their language? Our research looks especially at children between the ages of 1-5 and uses multiple methodologies.

Relevant publications

  • Koenig, M.A., & Woodward, (2010). Sensitivity of 24-Month-Olds to the Prior Inaccuracy of the Source: Possible Mechanisms. Developmental Psychology, 46, 815-826.
  • Pasquini, E. S., Corriveau, K. H., Koenig, M. A. & Harris, P. L., (2007). Preschoolers monitor the relative accuracy of informants. Developmental Psychology, 43(5), 1216-1226.
  • Koenig, M. A., Clement, F., & Harris, P. L., (2004). Trust in Testimony: Children's Use of True and False Statements. Psychological Science, 15, (10), 694-698.
  • Koenig, M. A. & Echols, C. H. (2003). Infants' Understanding of False Labeling Events: The Referential Role of Words and the People who Use them. Cognition, 87, (3), 181-210.

Wilma Koutstaal

photo of Wilma Koutstall Psychology

Human beings often show surprisingly large fluctuations in how readily and accurately they can “retrieve” what they know.  Such fluctuations influence how flexibly we can use knowledge to inform our judgments, decisions, and actions.  Dr. Koutstaal’s research focuses on factors that affect how we gain access to, or awareness of, what we know and remember, and the accuracy and confidence associated with such access.  One current focus of research concerns the specificity of the representations that support memory and judgment.  We can remember events with differing levels of detail, recalling information in a highly specific and detailed manner, or in a more general, meaning-based, conceptual, or “gist-like” manner.  Under what conditions do we rely on each of these types of information?  Do individuals with memory deficits such as healthy older adults or global amnesiacs rely more on one or the other of these types of information, or are both forms equally impaired?  Another, more recent, focus is on the level of confidence associated with decisions that we make in various domains, such as perceptual and memory judgments, and complex classifications.  What types of information support feelings of confidence?  What are the neuroanatomical correlates of the assessment of, and experience of, feelings of confidence?  How is the ability to appropriately align confidence with actual performance in cognitive and more complex judgments affected by various situational and task demands?

  • Koutstaal, W. (2003).  Older adults encode––but do not always use––perceptual details:  Intentional versus unintentional effects of detail on memory judgments.  Psychological Science, 14, 189–193. 
  • Koutstaal, W., Reddy, C., Jackson, E. M., Prince, S., Cendan, D. L., & Schacter, D. L. (2003).  False recognition of abstract versus common objects  in older and younger adults:  Testing the semantic categorization account.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29, 499–510. 
  • Fu, T., Koutstaal, W., Fu, C. H. Y., Poon, L. & Cleare, A. J. (in press).  Depression, confidence, and decision:  Evidence against depressive realism.  Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment.

Nathan Kuncel

photo of Nate KuncelPsychology

My research is focused on two related areas. The first is understanding the characteristics of people that contribute to their performance at school and work. These characteristics or individual differences span intellective, interest, experience, prior performance and personality characteristics. My most visible research in this area has examined the efficacy of standardized tests including the GRE, GMAT, MAT, and SAT. The second half is research that attempts to model and measure academic and occupational performance. My goal is to more fully evaluate performance in these domains and move beyond the grade, income, and status measures that are typically used.

  • Kuncel, N. R. & Hezlett, S. A. (2007). Standardized tests predict graduate students success. Science, 315, 1080-1081.
  • Kuncel, N. R., & Borneman, M. (2007). Toward a new method of detecting deliberately faked personality tests: The use of idiosyncratic item responses. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 15, 220-231.
  • Kuncel, N. R., Hezlett, S. A., & Ones, D. S. (2004). Academic performance, career potential, creativity, and job performance: Can one construct predict them all? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology [Special Section, Cognitive Abilities: 100 Years after Spearman (1904)], 86, 148-161.

Richard Lee

Richard LeePsychology

The Race, Ethnicity, Migration and Mental Health (REM-MH) lab is involved in a number of studies focused primarily on Asian American populations, although we do have a lot of data on other under-represented populations. There are three lines of research that may interest REU students. First, we have a few different data sets on families who have adopted children from South Korea. These studies, including a longitudinal follow-up underway in Spring 2014, examine the ways in which parents and children negotiate ethnic and racial differences and its relation to ethnic identity development, perceived discrimination, and other developmental outcomes. Second, we have a number of large-sample data sets of racial minority college students examining ethnic identity, acculturation, perceived discrimination, and adjustment. Third, we are engaged in a community-based project in collaboration with a local social service agency to teach parenting skills to Hmong and African American parents with young children.

  • Kim, O.M., Reichwald, R., & Lee, R.M. (2013). Cultural socialization in families with adopted Korean Adolescents: A mixed-method, multi-informant study. Journal of Adolescent Research, 28, 69-95.
  • Armenta, B. E., Lee, R.M., Pituc, S. T., Jung, K.R., Park, I. J. K., Soto, J. A., Kim, S. Y., & Schwartz, S. J. (2013). Where are you from? A validation of the Foreigner Objectification Scale and the psychological correlates of foreigner objectification among Asian Americans and Latinos. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 19, 131-142.
  • Lee, R.M., Vu, A.M., & Lau, A.S. (2013). Culture and evidence-based prevention programs. In F. Paniagua & A.M. Yamada (Eds.), Handbook of Multicultural Mental Health (2nd edition, pp. 527-545). New York: Academic Press.

Monica Luciana

photo of Monica Luciana Psychology

Dr. Luciana's research pursues the understanding of brain-behavior relationships in normal individuals and in those with clinical disorders. Specifically, she is interested in (1) the development of functions mediated by the brain's prefrontal cortex (particularly in adolescence), and (2) the effects of brain chemicals on cognitive control and reward processing functions. The Luciana laboratory is currently engaged in an NIAAA-funded longitudinal study of adolescent brain and behavioral development that involves the use of behavioral assessments and structural brain imaging to address these issues. A primary focus of the project is to determine how normative patterns of development are disrupted by the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other substances of abuse.

Relevant publications

  • Olson, E.A., Collins, P.F., Hooper, C.J., Muetzel, R., Lim, K.O., & Luciana, M. (2008). White matter integrity predicts delay discounting behavior in adolescents: a diffusion tensor imaging study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Posted on-line 3 September 2008. PMID: 18767918.
  • Luciana, M., Collins, P.F., Olson, E.A., Schissel, A.M. (2009). Tower of London performance in healthy adolescents: The development of planning skills and associations with self-reported inattention and impulsivity. Developmental Neuropsychology, 34(4), 461-475. PMID: 20183711.
  • Wahlstrom, D., Collins, P.F., White, T. & Luciana, M. (2010). Developmental changes in dopamine neurotransmission in adolescence: Behavioral implications and issues in assessment. Brain & Cognition, 72(1), 146-159. PMID: 19944514.
  • Urosevic, S., Collins, P.F., Muetzel, R., & Luciana, M. (2012). Longitudinal changes in adolescent behavioral approach system and behavioral inhibition system sensitivities: associations with OFC and nucleus accumbens volumes. Developmental Psychology, 48(5), 1488-1500.
  • Luciana, M. & Collins, P.F. (2012). Incentive motivation, cognitive control, and the adolescent brain: Is it time for a paradigm shift? Child Development Perspectives, 6(4), 392-399.
  • Muetzel, R., Marjańska, M, Collins, P.F., Petrosko, M., Valabrègue, P., Auerbach, E.J., Lim, K.O., Luciana, M. (2013). In Vivo 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy in young-adult daily marijuana users. Neuroimage-Clinical, 2, 581-589.
  • Luciana, M., Collins, P.F., Muetzel, R., Lim, K.O. (2013). Effects of alcohol use initiation on brain structure in typically developing adolescents, American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 39(6), 345-355.

Chad Marsolek

marsolek Psychology

In my lab, we are interested in explaining human cognitive abilities — especially memory, vision, learning, and how these abilities are modulated by emotion and social interaction — in terms of how the brain accomplishes them. From this cognitive neuroscience perspective, we currently are investigating the nature of implicit memory, abstract and specific visual processing, and effects of emotion on vision and memory.

Relevant Publications

  • Marsolek, C. J., Ketz, N. A., Ramanathan, P., Deason, R. G., Bernat, E. M., Steele, V. R., Patrick, C. J., Verfaellie, M., & Schnyer, D. M. (2010). Identifying objects impairs knowledge of other objects: A relearning explanation for the neural repetition effect. NeuroImage, 49, 1919-1932. NeuroImage Editors' Choice Award winner (Cognitive Neuroscience Section), 2010.
  • Marsolek, C. J. (2008). What antipriming reveals about priming. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12, 176-181.
  • Marsolek, C. J., & Burgund, E. D. (2008). Dissociable neural subsystems underlie visual working memory for abstract categories and specific exemplars. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 17-24.
  • Snyder, K. A., Blank, M. P., & Marsolek, C. J. (2008). What form of memory underlies novelty preferences? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 315-321.

Benjamin Munson

munson Speech, Language, Hearing, Science

In our laboratory, we are in the midst of conducting a longitudinal study of relationships among speech perception (using detailed acoustic measures), speech production (using eye-tracking measures), word learning, and reading readiness skills in typically developing preschool children from both low-income and middle-income households, as well as late talkers, and children with cochlear implants. Children will first be tested at 30 months of age, and will be followed until they are 5. The first cohort of participants will be tested in early 2012. Hence, the REU student will take on the responsibility of analyzing in detail the children's performance on one of the tasks from the first testing session.

Relevant publications

  • Munson, B., Edwards, J., & Beckman, M.E. (in press). Phonological representations in language acquisition: Climbing the ladder of abstraction. To appear in slightly different form in Handbook of Laboratory Phonology (A.C. Cohn, C. Fougeron, & M. K. Huffman, Eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Munson, B., Edwards, J., Schellinger, S.K., Beckman, M.E., & Meyer, M.K. (2010). Deconstructing Phonetic Transcription: Covert Contrast, Perceptual Bias, and an Extraterrestrial View of Vox Humana. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 24, 245-260.
  • Munson, B., Kurtz, B., & Windsor, J. (2005). The influence of vocabulary size, phonotactic probability, and wordlikeness on nonword repetitions of children with and without language impairments. / Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48/, 1033-1047.
  • Munson, B., Edwards, J., & Beckman, M. E. (2005). Relationships between nonword repetition accuracy and other measures of linguistic development in children with phonological disorders. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48, 61-78.

Maria Sera

photo of Maria Sera Child Development

My research focuses on the relation between language and cognitive development. Current work in our lab revolves around two projects. One project focuses on the distribution and acquisition of classifiers in Mandarin and Hmong, and the relation between those classifiers and conceptual development. Adults and children between 3 and 9 years of age who speak English, Mandarin, and Hmong participate in this research. We are also developing a connectionist model to help frame the specific research questions in this area. The second project focuses on the acquisition of English by native Spanish-speaking preschoolers. We have been studying how these children learn English vocabulary, relational terms, morphology, and syntax in their initial stages of being exposed to English. We are comparing their English language development to two monolingual English-learning groups: (1) an age-matched comparison group; and (2) a group of younger English-speaking children who match the Spanish speakers in initial vocabulary level. From a practical standpoint, the research will offer specific information as to how to optimize the learning of English as a second language by young children.

Relevant publications

  • Sera , M.D., Cole, C.A., Oromendia, M. F. Koenig, M.A. (2013) Object Familiarity Facilitates Foreign Word Learning in Preschoolers, Language Learning and Development: DOI: 10.1080/15475441.2013.803876.
  • Sera, M.D., Johnson, K., & Kuo, J. (2013). Classifiers augment and maintain shape-based categorization in Mandarin speakers. Language and Cognition 4 (1), 1-24 .

David Stephens

photo of David StephensEcology, Evolution and Behavior

My research blends mathematical and experimental analyses to address a range of issues in behavioral ecology, especially feeding behavior. My experiments use psychological techniques, and this brings the conceptual approach of behavioral ecology into contact with the more mechanistic approach of psychology. Current interests in my laboratory are 1) combining evolutionary and mechanistic analyses of behavior using animal impulsivity as a worked example; 2) evolutionary models of "cognitive" phenomena, e.g. learning, memory and decision-making; 3) Receiver psychology and animal signals--how animal signals exploit the psychological aspects of receivers.

Relevant publications

  • Stephens, D. W. 2008. Decision ecology: foraging and the ecology of animal decision-making. Cognitive and affective behavioral neuroscience (CABN) 8: 475-484.
  • Dunlap, A. S. & Stephens, D. W. (2009) Components of change in the evolution of learning and non-learning. Proceedings of the Royal Society (B) 276:3201-3208.
  • Stevens, J.R. & Stephens, D.W. (2010). The adaptive nature of impulsivity. In: Impulsivity: the behavioral and neurological science of discounting. (Madden GJ, & Bickel WK, eds). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. pp. 361-388.
  • McLinn, C. M. & Stephens, D. W. (2010) An experimental analysis of receiver economics: cost, reliability and uncertainty interact to determine a signal's value. Oikos 119: 254-263

Thomas Stoffregen

photo of Thomas Stoffregen Kinesiology

Dr. Stoffregen's research encompasses three areas of research:

1. Posture and suprapostural activity. Dr. Stoffregen is examining the role of exploratory body motion in enabling people to learn about and perceive their own action capabilities; for example, body sway facilitates learning to perceive the maximum height of a chair on which one can sit.

2. Postural instability and motion sickness. In his research, people are exposed to moving visual scenes that often induce motion sickness. People who develop instability in the control of body posture are at risk for subsequent motion sickness. People who maintain stability while viewing the stimuli do not become sick. He is examining the quantitative details of unstable sway that precede and predict sickness.

3. Perception and action in virtual environments. The Human Factors Research Lab is part of a consortium of 27 laboratories working toward the next generation of multisensory human-computer interfaces. Many of his experimental projects include stimuli presented via virtual reality interfaces, including head-mounted displays.

Relevant Publications

  • Stoffregen, T. A., Bardy, B. G., Bonnet, C. T., Hove, P., & Oullier, O. (2006). Postural sway and the frequency of horizontal eye movements. Motor Control, 10, 24-34
  • Faugloire, E. M., Bardy, B. G., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2006). The dynamics of learning new postural patterns: Influence on preexisting spontaneous behaviors. Journal of Motor Behavior, 38. 299-312
  • Bonnet, C. T., Faugloire, E. M., Riley, M. A., Bardy, B. G., & Stoffregen, T. A. (2006). Motion sickness preceded by unstable displacements of the center of pressure. Human Movement Science, 25, 800-820.
  • Stoffregen, T. A., Bardy, B. G., Bonnet, C. T., & Pagulayan, R. J. (2006). Postural stabilization of visually guided eye movements. Ecological Psychology, 18, 191-222.

Moin Syed

photo of Moin Syed Psychology

My research focuses broadly on identity development among adolescents and young adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds. I am fundamentally concerned with how people come to understand who they are, and how that developing understanding impacts other aspects of their lives, especially academic and career pathways. Because of its importance to ethnic minorities, my research focuses on ethnic identity, which is the degree to which individuals identify with their ethnic group. There are two projects available for students to work on, which reflect my interests in both basic and applied identity research:

1) Identity Development and Persistence in STEM – In this study we are examining how developing a sense of identity is related to women and ethnic minorities entering and remaining in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

2) Cultural Context of Immigration in Sweden – The immigrant population in Sweden has been rapidly increasing, and yet there is little research on how immigrants are adapting. This is an interesting question due to the cultural context of Sweden. Unlike the U.S., which emphasizes assimilation to the mainstream culture, Sweden is known for its celebration of biculturalism. This greater openness to different cultures may be related to more positive adjustment among immigrants.

Relevant references:

  • Syed, M., & Mitchell, L. L. (2013). Race, ethnicity, and emerging adulthood: Retrospect and prospects. Emerging Adulthood, 1(2), 83-95.
  • Syed, M., Goza, B. K., Chemers, M. M., & Zurbriggen, E. (2012). Individual differences in preferences for matched-ethnic mentors among high-achieving ethnically-diverse adolescents in STEM. Child Development, 83(3), 896-910.
  • Syed, M., Azmitia, M., & Cooper, C. R. (2011). Identity and academic success among under-represented ethnic minorities: An interdisciplinary review and integration. Journal of Social Issues, 67(3), 442-468.
  • Syed, M. (2010). Developing an integrated self: Academic and ethnic identities among ethnically-diverse college students. Developmental Psychology, 46(6), 1590-1604.

Frank Symons

photo of Frank Symons Educational Psychology

My research emphasis is on understanding the severe behavior problems of children and adults with special needs, primarily those with developmental disabilities and emotional or behavioral disorders. For these two groups, much of my research has focused on self-injurious behavior and classroom aggression, respectively. The majority of my research has been observationally based, theoretically grounded in behavioral principles, and driven by a commitment to meaningful, functional outcomes. I have two current specific areas of interest. One is the development, assessment, and treatment of problem behavior among children and adults with a range of neurodevelopmental and emotional/behavioral disorders. The other is the problem of pain among children and adults with significant cognitive impairments and associated developmental disabilities. Related areas of interest include observational research methods.

In terms of problem behavior, areas of specific research interest include (a) characterizing self-injurious behavior in more detail descriptively (form, location, intensity) and experimentally (function); (b) examining the intersection of behavioral and biological mechanisms underlying chronic self-injury by incorporating sensory (e.g., pain sensitivity, peripheral innervation) and autonomic (e.g., sympathetic/parasympathetic, HPA axis) nervous system variables, and (c) translating findings from basic research into treatment applications. In terms of pain, areas of specific research include (a) the reliable and valid assessment of pain in children and adults with significant cognitive, communicative, and motor impairments associated with intellectual disability; (b) the relation between behavioral and biological variables as markers for altered pain; (c) modifying/adapting quantitative sensory testing for individuals with specialized needs; and (d) the relation between pain and problem behavior, specifically self-injury.

Selected references

  • Symons, F. J., & Danov, S. E. (2005). A prospective clinical analysis of pain behavior and self-injurious behavior. Pain, 117, 473-477.
  • Symons, F. J. (2005). Self-injury and sequential analysis: Context matters. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110, 323-326.
  • Roberts, J. E., Symons, F. J., Wulfsberg, A. M., Hatton, D. D., & Boccia, M. L. (2005). Blink rate in boys with fragile X syndrome: Preliminary evidence for altered dopamine function. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49, 647-656.
  • Symons, F. J., Sperry, L. A., Dropik, P., & Bodfish, J. W. (2005). The early development of stereotypy and self-injury in developmental disabilities: A review of research methods. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49, 144-158.