Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Cognitive Psychology

Attention, Memory, and Priming Laboratory

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The research interests of the Neely Laboratory fall into three general areas: reading and word identification, memory, and visual attention.

Cognition and Language Laboratory

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Current experiments seek to understand the ways in which emotion words and emotion-laden words are coded in monolinguals as well as in the dominant vs. subordinate languages of fluent bilinguals, the differences in mental representations for concrete, abstract, and emotion words for novice and fluent bilinguals, tip-of-the-tongue phenomena in bilingual speakers, use of spatial and temporal language cues in the representation of spatial and temporal information, the acquisition of ASL signs in monolingual English speakers, and many other areas of inquiry. We are a Laboratory with diverse interests, and we seek not only to provide new, original, basic research findings, but also to describe the ways in which those findings apply to important and timely issues in everyday life.

Language Laboratory

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The laboratory examines speaking and reading in both native and non-native speakers of a language (bilinguals). Questions include: Does word recognition vary across languages depending on their particular structure? Is morphology more than just conjoint effects of shared meaning and shared form? What makes irregular past tense forms hard for some types of people (e.g., non-native speakers, children) to master? The lab also studies the interaction of linguistic codes at the level of writing systems (bialphabetism) and the effect of accent on understanding. The lab uses a variety of experimental techniques in the laboratory at The University at Albany, SUNY, at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, CT and in collaboration with colleagues in China, Serbia, and Israel.

Music and Cognition Laboratory

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Areas of interest: music cognition, perceptual matching and pattern recognition, selective attention, word recognition processes in reading, information-processing functions of consciousness

Visual Cognition Laboratory

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Research Interests: Reading is a complex skill that provides a rich domain for studying language, attention, vision and memory. By studying reading, the lab hopes to understand how visual expertise develops, individual differences in performance, the link between eye movements and on-going cognitive processing (i.e., the eye-mind link), and a variety of related phenomena (e.g., lexical ambiguity resolution, re-reading, and cross-language differences). A key goal of the current work is to understand the time course of the cognitive, perceptual and neural processes that support reading, by integrating findings from a wide range of tasks and methodologies (e.g., eye tracking, distributional analyses, computational modeling, ERP/EEG). More broadly, we are also interested in other domains of visual expertise beyond reading (e.g., chess expertise), as well as learning, memory, and the conscious/unconscious distinction.