I am a cognitive scientist who uses computational modeling and behavioral experimentation to investigate those complex forms of cognition that are uniquely human, and indeed make us human. My primary line of research is in mathematical and computational thinking, where my students and I investigate the cognitive mechanisms underlying our ability to understand abstract mathematical concepts (e.g., in geometry and topology) and to reason about computationally hard problems (e.g., the travelling salesperson problem).
In an era in which many people can live well into their eighties or nineties, articulating pathways to a quality life becomes more critical than ever before. At the broadest sense, I am interested in identifying the affective, cognitive, and sociocultural processes that shape long and meaningful lives. My research addresses three broad questions: (1) What factors contribute to meaningful lives? (2) How do individual life experiences, particularly those that are personally significant and challenging, shape the pursuit of meaning across the adult life span in diverse contexts?
My research focuses on three major areas: (a) understanding and improving worker well-being, (b) temporal dynamics in team contexts, and (c) research methods. Collectively, my research seeks to improve our understanding of optimal human functioning more generally, across time, and within
specific contexts (e.g., organizational, teams).
My research focuses on how managing work and family affects the health and well-being of individuals and their family members. Specifically, my work examines multiple facets of health (including social, emotional, behavioral, physical, and well-being), with a particular focus on physical and physiological health outcomes.
My research focuses on how leaders can improve the efficacy and well-being of their subordinates. This includes influencing psychological phenomena like trust, interpersonal phenomena like conflict, organizational phenomena like training opportunities, and environmental phenomena like interruptions. I have a particular interest in healthcare teams and leadership. Ultimately, I believe that our science should be readily usable by practitioners, and seek to do research that is both theoretically meaningful and practically important and accessible.
My early research examined neural mechanisms of sensory-based recollections. I have also become interested in understanding how memory operates under varying demands on attention, and how we arrive at decisions that are based on our memories and perceptions. The lab has been studying perceptual decision making in order to identify neural signals related to different stages of the decision process. We have recently been building from our early research in this area to study how memory, attention, and decision-making abilities change in healthy aging.
Cognitive control refers to the set of processes by which we direct our actions toward a specific goal. At the most basic level, control processes allow us to translate a presented stimulus into an appropriate motor action. However, these processes and representations quickly become more complex when trying to understand more involved behaviors such as learning peoples names or watching and understanding films.