Title: Assistant Professor
Area: Cognitive Psychology
Campus/Building: Busch- Psychology 231; Lab 235Website: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~ph221/
I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Cognitive Science at the University of California, Irvine. I completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychology at Syracuse University before joining the faculty at Rutgers University in 2012. My research focuses on episodic and semantic memory, as well as decision making in naturalistic environments. Specifically, I focus on complex environments in which people make real world decisions about situations where prior knowledge of the environment can be brought to bear.
In memory I am interested in how people integrate noisy and incomplete information stored in episodic memory with prior knowledge of their environment. I experimentally quantify people’s prior knowledge for a wide range of domains, e.g., size, height, scenes and time. In a series of studies I have explored how people use their knowledge and expectations to make sense of their environment and appear to use this information optimally in a broad range of cognitive tasks.
Another direction in my research is to explore individual differences in rational models of cognition. While rational models provide qualitative predictions for human performance, these predictions are at an aggregate level and do not allow for inference about the individual participant. This necessitates the application of Bayesian analysis methods to the output from the rational model. I have used this approach to infer the proportion of participants who use an informative prior, as well as the distribution over priors at the individual subject level.