Professor Richard Catrambone

Title: EXP: Fostering Self-Correcting Reasoning with Reflection Systems
Description: In this project, we explore factors relevant for the design of computer-aided reflection systems; we focus on college students’ ability to assess and improve arguments they create to cope with “wicked problems” such as climate change. These problems are impossible to define and determine their boundaries because people look at them from varying, often conflicting points of view. Being able to deal with wicked problems requires the skill to correct one’s own reasoning. Through reflection systems, students learn, among other things, how to construct and integrate arguments that can justify stakeholder positions on a wicked problem. Since these arguments represent their reasoning on the problem, the project focuses on the improvement of arguments as one important case of self-correcting reasoning.

Sponsor: NASA
Title: Training for generalizable skills & knowledge: Integrating principles and procedures.
Description:  NASA's future long-distance crewed missions will require new levels and types of technical expertise for astronauts throughout mission operations.  As these missions are undertaken, the range of novel and unexpected conditions will be much greater than in the current, relatively well-understood International Space Station (ISS) missions.  Our proposed work investigates the benefits of integrated skills and knowledge for supporting transfer and retention. We are investigating the impact of this form of skills and knowledge in a technical domain that models a critical operational work domain: management of on-board life support systems.  We are using partial simulations of interdependent life support and electrical systems similar to those in use on the ISS and an interface for operating the simulated devices. 

Sponsor: SHARP
Title: Strengthening human adaptive reasoning and problem-solving. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA).
Description: To effectively develop and explore novel hypotheses and agilely refine these hypotheses in the face of new and changing information, intelligence analysts must apply adaptive reasoning and problem-solving (ARP). Prior research has generally focused on only a subset of capacities that contribute to ARP.  Our focus is to develop a model to specify, quantify, and explore the casual relationships that connect analyst characteristics and intervention performance, as well as to drive and refine hypotheses about how these interventions impact ARP. 

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Investigating and improving synthesis problem solving skills in introductory physics via analogical reasoning.  
Description: We investigate and attempt to improve student performance on a relatively overlooked class of problems with real-world relevance: synthesis problems which are problems requiring the application of more than one major concept.  Synthesis problems are ubiquitous in STEM disciplines.  Many real-world situations involve multiple concepts, spanning distinct topics that are not proximally introduced in one textbook chapter.  A solver, therefore, must identify pertinent fundamental principles and synthesize them into a coherent whole to obtain a solution. 

Professor Audrey Duarte

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Title: Aging and Components of Cognitive Control in Associative Memory
Description: Prefrontal cortical (PFC) dysfunction is a major contributor to age-related associative memory impairments but the PFC is heterogeneous and age may affect some PFC processes more than others. The goal of the project is to distinguish the effects of age on dissociable PFC-mediated cognitive control processes that support associative memory performance and in doing so, identify target processes and locations for future memory interventions.

Professor Frank Durso

Sponsor: Center for Disease Control -  Subaward/Emory University
Title: Prevention Epicenter of Emory & Atlanta Consortium Hospitals (PEACH)
Description:  The Georgia Tech Team will collaborate with Emory University and Georgia State University. The multidisciplinary team, made up of nurses, physicians, architects, human factor engineers, microbiologists and health care epidemiologists will work to discover new strategies to reduce the spread of existing dangerous germs, including those resistant to many antibiotics, and new problems like Ebola virus disease.

Professor Randall Engle

Sponsor: Office of Naval Research (ONR)
Title:Benefits of Working Memory Training
Description:The goal of the project is to better understand the mechanisms of the construct variously labeled cognitive control, executive attention, and attention control.

Sponsor: Office of Naval Research (ONR) – DURIP (Defense University Research Instrumentation Program)
Title: The Physiological Underpinnings of Working Memory Capacity: The Role of the Locus Coeruleus
Description: This project will examine working memory capacity at the physiological level using noninvasive indicators of locus coeruleus functioning.

Professor Jamie Gorman

Sponsor:Cognitive Engineering Research Institute (CERI)
Title:Human-Autonomy Teaming in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Operation Under Degraded Conditions
This research project involves developing and validating the team coordination metric for capturing quality of coordination behavior; performing dynamical systems analysis and modeling across multiple time scales, multiple teams, and multiple experiments; developing real-time analysis for team coordination scoring of adaptation and resilience; and analyzing relationships between team process and dynamics and the team performance metric.

Professor Scott Moffat

Sponsor:National Institute of Health (NIH) Subaward/Boston University
Title:The Entorhinal Cortex and Aerobic Exercise in Aging
Description:Aerobic exercise may attenuate the cognitive aging process and increase quality of life by enhancing communication between brain areas important for context-dependent memory and spatial navigation in healthy seniors. Using high-resolution neuroimaging methods, this set of studies will examine modulation of the functional and structural integrity of the entorhinal-hippocampal memory system by aerobic exercise training in healthy seniors.

Professor Jim Roberts

Sponsor: National Institute of Health (NIH) Subaward/Emory University
Title: Supervision & Analysis of the TotsItchyQoL and KidsItchyQoL Pilot Surveys
Description: The primary goal for the subaward on this project will be to supervise the psychometric analysis of responses to two new quality of life questionnaires for younger and older children with pruritus (chronic itching). The project will gather initial pilot data on the TotsItchyQoL (a quality of life measure for pediatric pruritus patients ranging from 4-7 years of age) and the KidsItchyQoL (a similar measure for children between the ages of 8-17).

Professor Jenny Singleton & David Martinez

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Doctoral Dissertation Research: Word Learning in a Signed Language and Its Relationship to Spoken Word Learning in Hearing Non-Signing Adults
Description: The project aims to investigate the relationship between lexical learning in sign and spoken languages.

Professor Rick Thomas

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Collaborative Research: A Memory-Based Account of Cue Generation and Prediction
Description: The goal of this project is to develop and test a computational cognitive model of how people utilize cues generated from memory when making inferences and decisions.    

Sponsor: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Title: Research Support Team for Weather Technology in the Cockpit
Description: In this project we evaluate the effectiveness of methods for communicating the uncertainty of meteorological forecast variables to pilots employing next-generation display technologies.

Professor Bruce Walker

Sponsor:National Science Foundation (NSF) Subaward/University of Colorado, Boulder
Title:Sonified Interactive Simulations for Accessible Middle School STEM
Description:The project is aimed at developing and validating multimodal interactive science simulations for the teaching of STEM in middle school.

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Think Tank (Doctoral Consortium) at ICAD 2015
Description: This project will support a consortium of promising graduate students at both masters and doctoral level, and distinguished research faculty. This “ThinkTank” (Doctoral Consortium) will be held in conjunction with the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2015), in Graz, Austria.

Sponsor: Panasonic Automotive Systems
Title: Empirical Evaluation of Head Unit “Bracketing” User Interface Design
Description: The goals of this project are to research user interface (UI) with respect to infotainment systems that come with cars by: (1) Empirically comparing the bracket UI developed by Panasonic to the traditional two-mode UI and (2) Providing feedback on the bracket UI, in order to help optimize the bracket design.

Professor Mark Wheeler

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Neural mechanisms of age-related changes in perceptual and memory decisions
Description: This project will use fMRI combined with modeling approaches to investigate age-related differences in neural signals underlying perceptual and memory decisions.

Professor Eric Schumacher

Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Title: Spatiotemporal Structure of the rs-fMRI Signal Reflects Contributions from Different Types of Brain Activity
Description: The goals of this project are to: 1) identify resting state fMRI analogues of high frequency and very low frequency electrical activity using multimodal experiments and spatiotemporal analysis; 2) determine how spontaneous fluctuations in activity affect the processing of sensory stimuli in rats and humans; 3) show that the resting state fMRI analogues of high and very low frequency activity specifically predict human performance on cognitively-demanding and attention-based tasks, respectively.



Professor Howard Weiss is featured in the September 2017 issue of the Observer, as a new Member-at-Large on the Association for Psychological Science Board, serving a three year term.  More info at

The Psychometric Research and Development (PRD) Lab has an exciting new project crossing disciplines within Psychology. A fifth year quantitative graduate student, Matthew Barrett, recently received a seed grant from the Center of Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI) to conduct his dissertation project titled “Integrating Neuroimaging and Behavioral Data Using the Multidimensional Generalized Graded Unfolding Model for the Response Process.” The project seeks to merge neuroimaging methodologies with a quantitative item response theory (IRT) model developed in the PRD Lab. It will measure the degree to which neural signal collected from a task performed during a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session can inform and reduce error in parameter estimation in an IRT model using self-reported preference data from the same task. Simultaneously, information about the multidimensional latent continuum established by the IRT model will be utilized to increase signal-to-noise in the fMRI data. The $8,500 grant will be used to fund data collection at CABI; it is the first research project of its kind to attempt to interface the two data modalities.

David Martinez, Georgia Tech School of Psychology doctoral student, was recently awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award (Behavioral & Cognitive Sciences Division, Linguistics Program, May 15, 2017, $18,936). His study, directed by faculty advisor Dr. Jenny Singleton, is entitled  "Word Learning in a Signed Language and Its Relationship to Spoken Word Learning in Hearing Non-Signing Adults.” This project uses structural equation modeling techniques to investigate cognitive factors underlying “word” learning in spoken and signed languages. The research has important implications for understanding how memory capacities and language aptitude interact with second language learning across language modalities. David has received prior research support through the NSF Science of Learning Center on Visual Language & Visual Learning ( and was named a Georgia Tech Goizueta Foundation Scholar.

The work of the Memory and Aging Lab (Duarte) will be featured at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting ( November 11-15, 2017 in Washington, DC. Grad Student Brittany Corbett will present her poster "Age-related changes in resolving proactive interference in associative memory" and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Patrick Powell will present a talk on  "Decoding selective attention during context memory encoding: an aging study."

Dar-Wei Chen (Catrambone, Problem-Solving and Educational Technology Lab) is a finalist for a Foley Scholars Fellowship (awarded annually to two graduate students on the basis of personal vision, brilliance, and potential impact. Foley Scholars are selected by an advisory board comprised of GVU alumni, current faculty, and industry partners during the fall semester.) to be announced on October 18, 2017.

Professor Randy Engle has been invited to give the 2017 Keynote Address for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society on November 9, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, "Working Memory Capacity and Intelligence."

Professor Phillip Ackerman was elected the incoming President of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID). He will serve as President-Elect from 2015-2017 and President from 2017-2019. ISSID was founded in 1983 to foster research on individual differences in temperament, intelligence, attitudes, and abilities. The aim of the society is to investigate major dimensions of individual differences in the context of experimental, physiological, pharmacological, clinical, medical, genetical, statistical and social psychology.

Thackery Brown, new Neuroscience Assistant Professor, received the 2016 NARSAD Young Investigator Award (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation) for his work examining the impact of stress on the ability to plan for the future.

Professor Phil Ackerman has been appointed a Provost Teaching and Learning Fellow for 2017-2018,

Professor Randall Engle has been awarded the 2017 APS Mentor Award. This annual lifetime achievement award was established by the APS Board of Directors to honor members of the discipline who masterfully help students and others discover and pursue their own career and research goals.  The award will be conferred during the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 APS Annual Convention in Boston, MA on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

Professor Bruce Walker was appointed General Advisory Committee Member and Technical Format Review Advisory Committee Member for DIAGRAM Center. The DIAGRAM Center explores technology applications for students with disabilities. 

Katie England received the 2016 Moll-Davenport Award for Best Psychology Undergraduate and the 2016 Williams-Wall Life Science Award.

Raquel Asencio Hodge (DELTA Lab-DeChurch) received a Goizueta Foundation Fellowship for her volunteer activities in on and off-campus initiatives to increase the prevalence of Hispanic students in STEM fields, as well as a LEAD Fellowship for assisting in the development and execution of a team leadership coaching program to help student organizations build better, stronger teams. 

Shriradha Geigerman (ReCALL Lab-Verhaeghen) received a 2016 Psi-Chi International Honor Society Fellowship.

Emily Lustig (Adult Cognition Lab-Hertzog) and Jonathan Strunk (Memory and Aging Lab-Duarte) received 2016 Fulton County Elder Health Fellowships for achievements in research that directly impacts the lives of older adults in the Community.

Lauren Margulieux (Problem-Solving and Educational Technology Lab-Catrambone) is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Student Award for the School of Psychology.

Eric Stearman (Cognitive Ergonomics Lab-Durso) is the recipient of the 2015 Best Graduate Student Publication Award for the School of Psychology.

Kelsey Merlo (Work Experience Lab-Weiss) received the 2015 Best Graduate Teaching Assistant Award for the School of Psychology.

Professor Jim Roberts is the recipient of this year's Class of 1940 Course Survey Teaching Effectiveness Award.  This award recognizes faculty members with exceptional response rates and scores on the Course-Instructor Opinion Survey (CIOS). 

Raquel Ascencio, Joseph McDonald, & Leslie DeChurch (with Toshio Murase, M. Scott Poole, & Noshir Contractor) won the top paper award in the Group Communication Division of the 2015 National Communication Assocation Conference for their paper, "The Effect of Synchronization of Group Processes on Multiteam System Effectiveness" 

The Georgia Tech HFES Chapter received the Outstanding Student Chapter - Gold Level Award and the Gold Award for Best Action Plan (National Ergonomics Month) at the October 2015 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting.

Thom Gable, Sadaf Kazi, and Joe McDonald were recognized as Student Members with Honors at the October 2015 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting. 

Dar-Wei Chen received the Best Student Paper Award - Educational Technical Group, at the October 2015 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting.

Professor Audrey Duarte has been named a 2015 Cullen Peck Scholar. The award includes $10,000 in research or travel funds. The Cullen Peck Scholar awards are made possible through the generosity of CoSAB member Frank Cullen and his wife Libby Peck, who wish to recognize and support faculty development within the College of Sciences.

Professor Phillip Ackerman has been named the recipient of the 2015 APA Division 21 Franklin V. Taylor Award for Outstanding Contributions in the field of Applied Experimental/Engineering Psychology.

Raquel Asencio Hodge (Graduate Student, Industrial/Organizational Psychology), Joe McDonald (Graduate Student, Engineering Psychology), and Leslie DeChurch (Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology) were awarded the Top Four Paper award for their paper submission to the annual National Communication Association Conference. The reference is as follows: Murase, T., Asencio, R., McDonald, J. D., Poole, M. S., DeChurch, L. A., Contractor, N. (2015, November). The effect of entrainment of group processes on multiteam system effectiveness. Paper accepted to the annual National Communication Association conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Raquel Asencio Hodge (Graduate Student, Industrial/Organizational Psychology) and Leslie DeChurch (Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology) were awarded the Best Conference Poster Award (2015) at the annual conference for the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGRoup) for their work titled: "Enabling teams to self-assemble: The MyDreamTeam builder."

Raquel Asencio Hodge (Graduate Student, Industrial Organizational Psychology) received a Goizueta Fellowship for academic year 2015-2016.

Taylor Curley (Graduate Student, Cognitive Aging) received the 2015 Psychonomic Society Graduate Student Travel Award. 

David Illingworth (Graduate Student, Engineering Psychology) received a Goizueta Foundation Fellowship for academic year 2015-2016.