Cognitive processes, such as those involved in perception, memory and decision making, are highly context dependent. Previous experiences, expectations, and goals all shape how sensory input is transformed into percepts, how memories are stored and retrieved and how available information is evaluated to guide behavior. This feature of human information processing is fascinatingly pervasive and can be easily experienced, especially in cases when it leads to errors. For example, it is often difficult to identify a familiar face outside of its usual context ("the butcher on the bus" phenomenon) and the the erroneous repetition of written words often goes unnoticed ("repetition blindness"; an example is embedded in this very sentence).

Despite leading to errors in some cases, the integration of context with current processing is integral to cognition because it constitutes the foundation for learning and adaptive behavior. My research investigates how context shapes human information processing. To this end I measure accuracy and speed of overt behavior as well as activity in the human brain as assessed with tools such as electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and direct recordings from electrodes that are implanted in the brains of neurosurgery patients. A particular emphasis of my work is on the development of precise theoretical accounts (mathematical models) of cognitive processes that are informed and constrained by measured overt behavior and brain activity.

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Publications

  1. & Intact word processing in developmental prosopagnosia. Scientific Reports 7(1)
  2. & Localized component filtering for electroencephalogram artifact rejection. Psychophysiology
  3. & Assessing recognition memory using confidence ratings and response times. Royal Society Open Science 3(4), 150670
  4. & Cathodal tDCS improves task performance in participants high in Coldheartedness. Clinical Neurophysiology 127(9), 3102-3109.
  5. & EEG biometric identification: a thorough exploration of the time-frequency domain. Journal of Neural Engineering 12(5), 056019

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Teaching

  • PSGS07 Year Abroad, Queensland University of Technology

    This module is for Psychology students taking the intercalary study year at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

  • PSGS08 Year Abroad, Wilfrid Laurier University

    This module is for Psychology students taking the intercalary study year at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada.

Supervision

  • Modelling context effects in cognition: Integrating EEG and choice response time models. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Johnston