Graduate Students

Muna Akthar

Muna Akhtar

Advisor: Keith Maddox, PhD
Background: Muna graduated with a BS in Psychology and worked as a research assistant and lab manager at Loyola University Chicago studying stereotypes and their role in juror decision-making.
Current research: Muna is interested in how targets of sexism react to perpetrators of sexism. More specifically, Muna wants to understand how women are behaving when they choose not to clearly and directly confront sexist perpetrators. Though women may not be confronting sexism in an obvious way, they may be responding to sexism in subtler—yet still deliberate—ways. Additionally, Muna is interested in studying the intersectional experience of women of color. More specifically, she wants to understand how having these multiple identities (being both a woman and a person of color) in different interpersonal contexts affect the process of attributing a negative outcome to discrimination (e.g. sexism, racism, or both).
Future plans: To make the world a more equitable and safer place for women and people with stigmatized identities.

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Edward Alexander

Edward Alexander

Advisor: Gina Kuperberg, PhD
Background: Edward graduated from Hampshire College with a Concentration in Cognitive Science, and before Tufts worked as a research assistant at Rutgers.
Current research: Edward's research interests include the development of effective reading strategies, violations of expectations, and multimodal perception.
Future plans: Research and Teaching

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Akil Atkins

Akil Atkins

Pronouns: He/Him/His
Advisor: Sam Sommers, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: Akil received a BA in Psychology, with a minor in computer science, from Bucknell University in 2022. At Bucknell University Akil studied Human-AI interaction, under the direction of Dr. Chris Dancy, specifically analyzing how humans treated AI agents based on how they were racialized.
Current research: Interested in examining different types of racism and primarily how these affect marginalized groups, and the reactions/perceptions of those who’re unaffected.
Future plans: Continue research, while being a mentor in some capacity to marginalized youth.

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Benjamin Bernard

Benjamin Bernard

Advisor: Holly A. Taylor, PhD
Background: Ben graduated with a BS in Economics from Macalester College and then spent several years working in product management and user research in the tech sector in LA. He also holds a MS in Human-Computer Interaction from Bentley University.
Current research: Currently studying hemifield differences in individuals to help with potential menu design in AR/VR.
Future plans: Interested in studying navigation, predictive coding, and language interfaces, and especially interested in the intersection between these three areas.

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Brittany Blasetti

Brittany Blasetti

Advisors: Klaus Miczek & Marcus Weera
Area of study: Behavioral Neuroscience
Background: Brittany graduated from Tufts University in 2020 and holds both an AA and BA in Psychology. She has conducted research at Harvard University, the Boston V.A. Medical Center’s Neuroscience & TBI unit and in Dr. Miczek’s Psychopharmacology lab studying female aggression. Professionally, Brittany has worked for The University of Vermont Medical Center and Larner College of Medicine’s Clinical Trials Office, where she managed and conducted multiple drug clinical trials in humans.
Current Research: Brittany is interested in the intersection between aggressive behavior and stress in females. More specifically, she is researching the role of CRF R1 receptor antagonism in appetitive behavior. Additionally, she is researching potential neural circuits that promote or inhibit alcohol drinking in preclinical animal models. Her major research interests lie within the scope of psychopharmacology.
Future Plans: Brittany hopes to go into industry upon completion of her PhD.

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Vanalata Bulusu

Vanalata Bulusu

Advisor: Dr. Stephanie Badde
Area of study: Multisensory Integration
Background: Vanalata graduated with a dual degree in Humanities and Computer Science.
Current research: I am interested in figuring out how the brain integrates information coming from multiple senses.
Future plans: Continue to contribute to knowledge.

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Monique Cathern

Monique Cathern

Advisor: Heather Urry, PhD
Area of study: Experimental Psychology
Background: Monique earned her B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California Irvine. She then joined Dr. Michelle Shiota in the Shiota Psychophysiology Laboratory for Affective Testing at ASU where she examined the influence of emotion on cognition and decided to pursue this interest further.
Current research: As an incoming PhD student at Tufts University, she intends to investigate the influence of emotion on cognitive processes such as attention and perception. Specifically, she's interested in examining the influence of stress on perception and communication in human-to-human interactions. With this focus, she hopes to optimize methods of emotion regulation and utilize cognitive resources to improve performance under stress.
Future plans: In addition to a career in research, I am developing my artistic skills in Surrealism. Coming soon to a gallery near you!

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Himanshu Chaudhary

Himanshu Chaudhary

Advisors: Ayanna Thomas, PhD & Elizabeth Race PhD
Background: Himanshu earned his BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. During his time at UCLA and working as a lab manager at UC Davis, he worked on a multitude of projects ranging from scaffolding of memory in older adults to modeling learning in the brain using fMRI. Here at Tufts, he aims to continue his study of memory and the brain in older adults by looking for ways to tackle the cognitive deficits and susceptibility to misinformation that comes with growing older as well as pursue his interest in the effects of technology on cognition to produce research that can be applied to day-to-day life.
Current Research: Currently studying the effects of warning on the memory for eyewitness events and susceptibility to misinformation in older adults as well as the effects of stress and uncertainty on cognitive abilities in emergency responders.
Future Plans: Continue researching memory and older adults but branch out into new methodologies such as AI and virtual reality to create more complicated paradigms with the goal of creating naturalistic studies in the lab.

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Jada Copeland

Jada Copeland-Hayes

Advisor: Jessica Remedios
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: Jada received a BA in Psychology and minored in Sociology from William & Mary in 2020. During her time, she spent 3 years in a social cognition lab studying intergroup relations and stereotyping/prejudice where she also conducted her own honors project.
Current research: Jada is mainly interested in studying discrimination and intersectional stigma in higher education focused on applying research to creating systemic change for students of minoritized backgrounds. She is also interested in understanding the lack of the psychological research focused on race-related phenomena and how individuals who pursue this work are marginalized.
Future plans: Continue conducting research and become a professor while being a trained pastry chef!

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David DiStefano

David DiStefano

Advisor: Elizabeth Race, PhD
Background: David graduated from WPI in 2015 having double-majored in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and spent the past few years as a research coordinator in the ICoN Lab.
Current research: States of attention, memory, and neurofeedback for use in enhancing cognitive state
Future plans: Consulting in industry for cognitive science and software.

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Julie A. DiCarlo

Julie A. DiCarlo

Advisor: Nathan Ward, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience
Background: Julie’s background is primarily in Stroke Neurorehabilitation, studying motor systems neuroscience by using neuroimaging and neurotechnologies (e.g., non-invasive brain stimulation) in the Laboratory for Translational Neurorecovery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Current research: Julie is interested in examining individual differences in attention control and the influence of attention on motor task performance. Julie hopes to use dual-task paradigms and neuroimaging techniques to examine the behavioral and neural mechanisms of these topics.
Future plans: Cognitive-motor clinical research and integration of (neuro)technologies!

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Lananh Do

Lan Anh (Bella) Do

Advisor: Ayanna K. Thomas, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Psychology
Background: Lan Anh (Bella) was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam but then moved to Seoul, South Korea and had lived there for almost 10 years before coming to Tufts. She graduated with honors from Hanyang University earning a BA in International Studies. She was then awarded the Global Leadership Fellowship from Yonsei University and obtained an MA in Educational Psychology there. While at Yonsei, she worked with Dr. Hee Seung Lee studying the effects of several strategies that can make learning more effective.
Current research: At Tufts, she continues examining the benefits of research-based study techniques such as interleaving and retrieval practice. Especially, she is interested in how these techniques can foster learning in stressful contexts.
Future plans: She would like to continue conducting research to help students forget less and learn more. She hopes to make students study more effectively so that they can achieve what they work for through their education.

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Sam Nour Eddine

Samer Nour Eddine, MD

Advisor: Gina Kuperberg, MD, PhD
Area of study: Computational cognitive science
Background: Samer graduated from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, completing undergraduate (BS, Biology, 2014) and medical studies (MD, 2018). During his medical studies, Samer completed a research internship at Dr. David Caplan's Neuropsychology Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital studying behavioral aspects of language processing.
Current research: Using a predictive coding framework to model a range of neural and behavioral phenomena in language comprehension.
Future plans: Exploring the potential of predictive coding as a unifying principle in cognitive science more generally.

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Crista Falk

Crista Falk

Advisor: Stephanie Badde, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Science
Background: Crista Falk graduated with a BS in Computation and Cognition and a minor in Music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2023. During this time, she spent 2 years in a Brain and Cognitive Sciences lab studying computational modeling of infant locomotion. She has previously worked as a software engineering intern and a machine learning researcher at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Current research: Multisensory perception, computational modeling, the effects of cross-modal perturbation of somatosensation, proprioception, and audition.
Future plans: Crista would like to continue working in the perceptual space, either within academia as a professor or within tech working to improve accessibility through human computer interfaces.

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Julia Felicione

Julia M. Felicione

Advisor: Lisa M. Shin,  PhD
Area of study: Biopsychology
Background: Julia received a BA in both Psychology and Cognitive Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. Subsequently, Julia worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital for two years with Drs. Dougherty, Widge, Schwartz, and Deckersbach and studied functional magnetic resonance imaging methods and analysis as applied to a variety of psychiatric illnesses.
Current research: Here at Tufts, Julia is using a multimodal neuroimaging approach to study the neurochemistry, function and structure of the amygdala, hippocampus, and anterior cingulate in individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using magnetic resonance imaging.
Future plans: Julia would like to continue to work on multimodal imaging studies that focus on the limbic system, the amygdalohippocampal complex, and/or the interaction between the nervous and immune systems.

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Maria Garay

Maria Garay

Advisor: Jessica Remedios, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: B.S. Psychology University of Hawaii at Manoa
Current research: I study how Whiteness can persist in a diversifying society by examining how those in power are motivated to maintain racial hierarchies. Specifically, I examine how perceptions of racially ambiguous individuals can reinforce existing racial hierarchies and power dynamics.
Future plans: I’d like to work in tech!

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Gauri Harindranath

Gauri Harindranath

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Advisor: Paul Muentener, PhD
Background: Gauri graduated with a BS in Psychology, a minor in Mathematics, and a Specialization in Psychological Modeling from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2021. Her research in Dr. Andrew Cohen's cognitive lab at UMass, along with her work in development labs at Boston University and Harvard University, has shaped her current interests. 
Current research: Cognitive development, scientific thinking and learning, causal learning
Future plans: Contribute to research about how children learn

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Thomas Allen Hansen

Thomas Allen Hansen

Advisor: Gina Kuperberg MD, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive science and Psycholinguistics
Background: Thomas received a BA in Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Here he gained experience as a research assistant in the Early Social Development and Intervention Lab with Dr. Jessica Bradshaw, working on early biomarkers for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He then received his MA in Psychology at Brandeis University. His research with Dr. Arthur Wingfield in the Memory & Cognition Lab investigated Cochlear Implant users’ ability to comprehend discourse-level texts using pupillometry.
Current Research: Neural imaging of language processing (EEG, MEG), naturalistic language processing, discourse comprehension, predictive processing
Future plans: Learning more about MEG and fMRI, mentoring undergraduates/teaching, sleeping, publishing more papers

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Madelyn Jungbluth

Madelyn Jungbluth

Advisor: Lisa Shin, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Neuroscience
Background: Madelyn graduated from the University of Michigan in 2023 with a BS in Neuroscience and German. While at Michigan, she was a research assistant in the Duval Lab studying learning and memory for threat and reward using methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and skin conductance response (SCR) in individuals with anxiety and stress disorders.
Current research: Madelyn is interested in studying how behavior and brain function during cognitive tasks is related to anxiety and stress disorder symptoms, especially in individuals with comorbid mental health conditions.
Future plans: Learn new skills, contribute to meaningful research, and find time to learn new recipes, explore new running trails, and travel.

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Sanjana Kadirvel

Sanjana Kadirvel

Advisor: Keith Maddox, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: Sanjana received a BS in Psychology from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018. During her time at UMass, Sanjana worked in a social cognition lab studying discrimination based on nonnative accents. After graduation, Sanjana worked at a lab manager at UMass for a social/health psychology lab studying how social connections affect health behaviors. 
Current research: Sanjana is interested in the prejudice and discrimination of minority populations and using humor to promote prosocial behavior and positive interactions. Sanjana is interested in identifying humor-based strategies to encourage activism in young adult populations. 
Future plans: Research and eat ice cream (often simultaneously) 

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Ashlynn Keller

Ashlynn Keller

Advisor: Holly A. Taylor, PhD
Area of study: Spatial Cognition, Navigation, Cognition
Background: Ashlynn graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and Biomedical Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology. As an undergraduate, she examined differences between children, orangutans, and raccoons in a problem-solving task. Additionally, she studied object and numerosity discrimination in goldfish while serving as the lab manager of the Comparative Cognition and Perception Lab. At Tufts, Ashlynn has studied cognition in adults, pigeons, starlings, and zebra finches. She completed her M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University in 2018 in a thesis titled "Auditory object perception in pigeons (Columba livia)." 
Current research: Her current research examines what information people seek when they face uncertainty while navigating an environment. 
Future plans: Continue learning new skills and become a better scientist and educator. 

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Ann Kochupurackal

Ann Kochupurackal

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Advisor: Ariel Goldberg, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive psychology, Psycholinguistics
Background: Ann graduated with a BA in Linguistics from the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College in 2019. Ann was an NSF-sponsored research fellow studying the effects of age, cognitive decline, and hearing impairment on bilingualism in Dr. Katrien Vermeire's lab.
Current research: Ann is interested in investigating how the mechanisms of language production – particularly in typed production – are monitored and regulated at every level of processing.
Future plans: Researching, teaching, and baking

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Kimberly Louis Jean

Kimberly Young

Advisor: Ariel Goldberg, PhD
Background: Kimberly graduated from Salem State University with a BFA in 2009, and then worked in the web industry for close to ten years. In 2019 Kimberly received a Master's in linguistics from UNH.
Current research: The production of words both in spoken and written language; also interested in ASL and the semantic relationship between words.
Future plans: Continuing research

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Lauren Mason

Lauren Mason

Advisor: Holly Taylor, PhD and Ayanna Thomas, PhD
Area of study: Cognition
Background: Lauren graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Psychology and Holistic Health. While at SFSU, Lauren conducted an honors thesis on autism traits, executive functions, and exercise. She also earned the Dr. George Araki Academic Achievement Award for her research investigating the interplay between physiology and cognitive functioning.
Current research: Lauren studies the way people learn and remember environments. She is particularly interested in the role that metacognition plays in this process. Additionally, she conducts research investigating how elaboration aids error detection during virtual LEGO model learning.
Future plans: Research, writing, and mentorship.

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Milexus Milton

Mi'Lexus Milton

Advisor: Sam Sommers, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: While attending the University of Washington, Mi'Lexus conducted research as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. She graduated with a dual degree, majoring in both Communication and Psychology, with a minor in Diversity Studies. After graduating, Mi'Lexus continued research as a senior research assistant and project manager in Dr. Cheryan's lab at the UW.
Current research: Mi’Lexus studies intergroup conflict reduction, civic engagement, and different ways we can creat safe spaces for minoritized individuals. Additionally, Mi’Lexus is interested in how social psychology could be used to advance and better inform social policy.
Future plans: Research and social policy analysis

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Sydni Nadler

Sydni Nadler

Advisor: Holly Taylor, PhD and Nathan Ward, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Psychology
Background: Sydni graduated from the George Washington University Honors Program with a BA in Psychological & Brain Sciences and Criminal Justice in 2022. As an undergraduate, she was named a Luther Rice Research Fellow and was awarded the Sigelman Undergraduate Research Enhancement Award for her work with the GW Visual Cognition Lab under Dr. Stephen Mitroff. Sydni’s honors thesis investigated the differences in participant visual search performance, self-reported individual differences, and study compliance pre- and peri-COVID-19. Following graduation, Sydni served as a Junior Lecturer in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
Current research: Sydni is interested broadly interested in the intersection of attention, spatial cognition, and individual differences. She has also been studying Cognitive Enhancement in collaboration with the Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Future plans: Continue conducting research that can be applied to everyday life, explore Boston, and grow as a student and individual.

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Prsni Patel

Prsni Patel

Advisor: Heather Urry, PhD
Area of study: Affective Science
Background: Prsni graduated with a BA in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, where she worked in the Emotion Lab for two years studying individual differences in various emotion and emotion regulation processes. She completed an undergraduate honors thesis studying the influence of personality on affective forecasting errors and their temporally-organized affective consequences.
Current research: Interested in the emotion regulation strategies that serve as reliable predictors of performance in stressful contexts.
Future plans: Conduct research that has real-world implications. Explore the best scuba diving sites along the way.

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Paul Plonski

Paul E. Plonski

Advisor: Heather Urry, PhD
Area of study: Psychology and Cognitive Science
Background: Paul developed a research interest in mindfulness meditation as an undergraduate and earned a BS in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a caterer before returning to research. Paul studied contemplative training while completing an MA in Psychological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. He worked on behavioral health and decision-making research at the Richmond Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, then joined the Emotion, Brain, and Behavior Laboratory. At Tufts, Paul has studied performance under stress in collaboration with the Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Tufts University Social Cognition Laboratory. He has also worked on transparency and open science with the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science. Across these disparate areas, Paul has developed skills mentoring and leading small teams, managing and analyzing data (R and Python), and communicating scientific information.
Current research: Paul currently studies how emotion and emotion regulation in response to climate change information are linked to climate change solutions.
Future plans: Paul is looking for a job in 2024.

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Keturah Ragland

Keturah Ragland

Advisor: Sam Sommers, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: Keturah received her BS in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science from the University of Arizona where she studied multisensory integration in non-human primates. She then studied for 2 years at the University of Delaware where she did research exploring the barriers and obstacles of women, and particularly women of color, in STEM.
Current research: She is interested in taking an intersectional approach to examine the relationship between various social identities as well as how having multiple stigmatized identities impacts individuals' perceptions and behaviors in various academic spaces.
Future plans: Whether in academic or non-academic spaces, Keturah aspires to have her work be an extension of her advocacy and social justice efforts to highlight the experiences of those who are often pushed to the margins.

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Isha Smith-Ramakrishnan

Isha Smith-Ramakrishnan

Advisor: Jessica Remedios, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: Isha graduated with a BA in Psychology from Skidmore College in 2022. During her undergraduate career, she studied person perception, specifically focusing on dual-minority biracial targets and non-White perceivers.
Current research: Isha’s is interested in continuing to research person perception involving people with multiple stigmatized identities, specifically focusing on the burgeoning racial group of multiracial individuals.
Future plans: To continue conducting research and hopefully one day become a professor! And maybe a small musical performance career on the side.

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Kayla Sansevere

Kayla Sansevere

Advisor: Nathan Ward, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Psychology
Background: Kayla earned a BA in Psychology from Arcadia University in 2020. As an undergraduate, Kayla immersed herself in research experiences within various disciplines throughout her undergraduate university and external research facilities and hospitals. These experiences include, but aren’t limited to, from examining how visual search templates are modified by a perceived lighting change to exploring the decision-making process of treatment-seeking cancer survivors. Her interdisciplinary research approach is molded by these experiences. Most notably, she was a NSF-sponsored research fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and studied the relationship between executive functions and risky driving behaviors in young drivers. Kayla is also a 2019 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and was the first awardee at Arcadia University.
Current research: Broadly, the extent of human cognition and performance in complex situations, particularly those that promote multitasking. Specifically, the (in)efficacy of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) and similar methods for cognitive enhancement and how individuals’ outcome expectations can influence the effectiveness of such methods.
Future plans: Growing her research (alongside her plants). Continue exploring non-academic opportunities (and breweries). Maintaining healthy work-life synergy (by reading every novel and novella in the A Song of Ice and Fire series [one day we will get The Winds of Winter] and playing board games like Azul).

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McKinzey Torrance

McKinzey Torrance

Advisor: Ayanna K. Thomas, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive
Background: McKinzey graduated in 2019 with a BS in Cognitive Brain Science from Tufts University, where she studied metacognitive abilities of eyewitnesses when they encounter misinformation. In 2022, she earned a MS for her work exploring earwitness memory capabilities during retrieval.
Current research: Interested in the memory accuracy and metacognitive abilities of eye/earwitnesses as well as people updating their knowledge about the world.
Future plans: Continue research, mentor young scientist, and share my findings with those inside and outside of academia.

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Apoorva P. Vallampati

Apoorva Vallampati

Advisor: Gina Kuperberg, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, psychiatric disorders
Background: Apoorva earned her BS in Neuroscience from The Ohio State University in 2020. Her undergraduate thesis work at The Cognitive Development Lab (PI: Dr. Vladimir Sloutsky) proposed that new words could be added to the semantic network by mere exposure to two fundamental statistical regularities that naturally occur in language, and that this sensitivity only increases with age. After leaving school, Apoorva pursued an analytics career in the banking industry, applying her understanding of cognition and semantic networks to help build AI/ML and behavioral analysis tools to detect fraud.
Current research: Investigating how neurolinguistic processing changes in psychiatric disorders using an integrative approach that combines brain imaging techniques, predictable neural measures associated with semantic context, and large language models.
Future plans: Research, writing, & teaching

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Lena Warnke

Lena Warnke

Advisor: J.P. de Ruiter, PhD and Gina Kuperberg, MD, PhD
Area of study: Cognitive Science
Background: Lena graduated from New York University with a BA in Linguistics and French and a minor in Psychology, and spent two years as a full-time research assistant in the NeuroCognition of Language Lab here at Tufts, working on several projects examining the role of prediction in language comprehension.
Current research: Interested in the role of anticipation in turn-taking in conversation, speech acts, and methodology in the study of natural dialogue.
Future plans: Continue research, teaching and labor organizing in academia

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Julia Wefferling

Julia Wefferling

Advisor: Paul Muentener, PhD
Background: Julia graduated from Montclair State University with both her BA and MA in Psychology. During her time at Montclair, she worked in the Cognitive and Language Development Lab studying infant and young children's perceptions of spatial configurations, as well as the Perceiving People Lab. There, the research focused on studying people’s perceptions of others based on traits like size, race, and gender. Working in both labs shaped her current research interests combining Social, Cognitive, and Developmental Psychology.
Current research: Broadly interested in studying Social Psychology through the lens of cognitive development. More specifically, she is interested in how social context, and context in general, shapes memories, as well as how/when certain stereotypes and biases form in children, including the implications of these early biases.
Future plans: To continue answering interesting questions in research and becoming a full-time faculty member at a research focused institution.

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Meghan Whalen

Meghan Whalen

Advisor: Xandra Kredlow, PhD
Area of study: Psychology and cognitive science
Background: Meghan graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in biology and psychology. She worked as a research assistant in clinical trials for neuromodulation of chronic pain conditions at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
Current research: Translational research on emotion, memory processes, and cognition.
Future plans: Continue conducting research that can be translated into a clinical setting.

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Thomas Wooten

Thomas Wooten

Advisor: Nathan Ward, PhD
Area of study: Health Sciences and Applied Cognition
Background: Tom graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 with a B.S. in psychology and studied the relationship between sleep and cognition. After graduation, Tom spent three years as a research assistant at the Boston VA Hospital studying genetic and environmental interactions associated with premature neurocognitive aging.
Current research: Interested in better characterizing the relationship between physiological functioning and cognition.
Future plans: Continue in research and explore both academic and non-academic opportunities.

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Jailekha Zutshi

Jailekha Zutshi

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Advisor: Keith Maddox, PhD
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: Jailekha graduated with a BA in Psychology and Economics from Colgate University in 2021. Her undergraduate honors thesis studied differences in mind perception and dehumanization among Black and White participants exposed to racially diverse targets. She worked at her alma mater for a year afterwards while remotely volunteering at the Tufts University Social Cognition Lab.
Current research: Jailekha is interested in studying mind perception and dehumanization, norm conceptualization, and intersectional and anti-racist practices in psychology, with the goal of producing theoretically sound and practically applicable research.
Future plans: Become a full-time faculty member, serve as a mentor to people from underrepresented groups in STEM, and find time to cook and travel.

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