Area: Cognitive Psychology
Building: Psychology 121, 120
A description of my research:
When we see something or recall something or plan a sentence, a representation of what we see or recall or wish to say forms in our brain. What are these representations like? If we knew exactly what they were like then we could replicate them in databases that would be used by computers to see and speak the way we do.
I have been trying to create descriptions of the representations that we use to see and remember and speak in sufficient detail to enable a computer system with all these abilities. Such descriptions are called computational models and may take the form of actual computer programs.
When we see or hear, our brains are transforming information from one form into another. So our brains are information processing systems, just like computers are. Computers can electronically perform operations must faster than our brains. But the procedures that our brains use for transforming information are much faster and more efficient than those currently used by computers. Describing the procedures that the brain uses to encode and retrieve information is the goal of my research.
This work often requires very detailed descriptions of how we perform very simple tasks, such as how we detect the repetition of a letter in a sequence of letters. It makes use of various forms of description that are also part of mathematics and computer science.