Research methods and populations
My research uses a variety of approaches from psychology and cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on cognitive psychology. A key method in my work is cognitive neuropsychology, the study of abnormal and/or atypical cognition to inform normal cognition. This perspective allows me to obtain converging evidence across multiple participant groups and to draw together disciplines that are often siloed.
Nature is nowhere accustomed more openly to display her secret mysteries than in cases where she shows tracings of her workings apart from the beaten paths.
— William Harvey, English physician, 1578-1657
Synesthesia is characterized by atypical associations, such as sounds with specific tastes, or the months of the year with a particular shape. Adults with grapheme-color synesthesia experience colors when looking at letters and/or digits. The associations and patterns between colors and letters/digits inform the structure of the cognitive system. Check back soon for papers with synesthesia.
Dyslexia, or difficulty reading, can have a myriad of causes and symptoms. I study individuals with developmental dyslexia (difficulty learning to read) and acquired dyslexia (a reading difficulty affecting a previously-literate adult, typically after a stroke). Dyslexia serves as a window into normal reading processes by revealing the structured ways that impairments surface and the particular characteristics of each deficit. See papers with dyslexia.
Studying the fluent adult reading system and children typically-acquiring reading also provides key insight into the reading system. These studies form the bread and butter of cognitive psychology. With these populations I employ techniques such as masked priming, and sophisticated analysis techniques such as linear mixed effects modeling. See papers with unimpaired readers.