Lab Members

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Gerry Altmann, Professor
Director of the CT Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Department of Psychological Sciences

Gerry

Gerry Altmann is interested in language and event comprehension.  In a simple sentence such as “She chopped the onion”, the state of the onion is different before and after the chopping; how do we keep track of such changes, how do we represent the different states of the onion at different moments in event-time, and how do we represent that each representation pertains to the same token onion? The research takes the view that language comprehension requires a complex interplay between semantic memory (knowledge of onions in general: ‘types’) and episodic memory (knowledge about a specific onion: a ‘token’). I use a mix of behavioral methods (predominantly eye-tracking) and neuroscientific methods (fMRI, EEG). Some of my research focuses also on how high-level knowledge impacts on lower-level attentional processing (and eye movement control). 

Contact: gerry.altmann@uconn.edu
Office: Bousfield 134C; Lab: Arjona 312
CV – Website

 

POST DOC & LAB MANAGER

 

Gitte Joergensen: I am interested in how we represent different dimensions of events during language processing. More specifically, I am interested in how changes in time and state are processed and integrated into current event representations. For example, in sentences like “The woman will drop the ice cream. But first, she will look at the ice cream”, we must maintain two distinct representations of the ice cream – before and after it was dropped. But how do these representations interact as language unfolds?

Contact: gitte.joergensen@uconn.edu

Office: Arjona 308

 

 

DOCTORAL STUDENTS

Zac

 

Zac Ekves: Semantic and episodic memory integration during sentence processing, Event processing, and representation, Neural correlates of event processing and semantic/episodic memory integration.

Contact: zachary.ekves@uconn.edu

Office: Arjona 302

 

 

 

kyra2

 

Kyra Krass: is interested in using behavioral and neuroimaging techniques to study sentence processing and event representation. Her current research seeks to find which object states are active in the brain when individuals process change of state verbs. She is also interested in what role anticipation and affordances play in sentence processing. 

Contact: kyra.krass@uconn.edu

Office: Arjona 302

Website: http://psych.uconn.edu/graduate-students/kyra-krass/

 

 

Yanina

 

Yanina PrystaukaAre brain regions recruited for processing object state changes sensitive to the number of dimensions on which the change occurs? What is the effect of processing identical syntactic structures with different levels of semantic complexity on the working memory load? Do native and L2 speakers have similar mechanisms of morphosyntactic processing? I use converging evidence from psycholinguistics and syntax to study sentence processing and its neural correlates.

Contact: yanina.prystauka@uconn.edu

Office: Arjona 302

 

 

 

Emily Yearling: I am interested in how event representation develops and how these representations bias the ways in which we perceive, understand, and interact with the world. Specifically, I use neuroimaging and behavioral methods to study how the brain processes changes in the state of objects we interact with in order to anticipate and facilitate future events.

Contact: emily.yearling@uconn.edu

Office: Arjona 311

 

 

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

 

 

Maria Lattanzi is a Pre-Med Cognitive Science major. She is interested in studying neural processing and different research techniques in a new perspective before heading into the medical field.

 

 

 

 

 

Ferdous

 

Ferdous Shaker is a Pre-Med Psychology Major minoring in Chemistry. She is interested in language processing and semantics in order to have a broader comprehension of psychology research methods before pursuing a career in the medical field.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Stephanie Chinwo is a biological sciences major on the pre-med track. She is interested in learning more about neural processing, the use of EEGs as well as other methodologies used to learn about the brain, and the different research techniques used in psychology in general.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha Purushotham is a biology major and is interested in child cognitive development, especially related to language and event processing. She plans on entering the medical field to work with children with developmental difficulties.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Roy is a Speech Language Hearing Sciences Major with an interest in understanding cognitive function through research techniques like the EEG and fMRI. She plans to enter the medical field to work with adults with neurological disorders.

 

 

 

 

 

Kristen Shubert

Meghan Lindsay

Lindsey Neri

Marissa Faroni

Marisa Karasik

FORMER LAB MEMBERS

 

Mackenzie Murphy
Patrick Orvis
Kagnica Seng
John Kennedy
Salomey Frimpong
Bryce Hill
Lizzie Collin
Matty Fammartino
Katrina Turick 
 Julia Mocciola
Jessica Hinckley
Kori Citrin
Tom Pietruszewski
Marina Lajoie
Lukas Kyc
Lauren Benson
Bailey Harris
Lily Bello