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Graduate Program


Graduate training provided by the team of students for research and teaching careers in the range of disciplines that constitute the brain and cognitive sciences. We see this in the topics of the PhDs awarded to students working in our faculty, and in the appointments these graduates hold later.

See below for a list of BCS alumni. Click here to update your information.


Quanjing Chen
Dissertation Title: The Representation of Tool in the Human Brain
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Rochester Medical Center

Stephen Ferrigno
Dissertation Title: The Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of Human Thought
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Alyssa Ibarra
Dissertation Title: Understanding Reference Generation as a Goal-oriented and Dynamic Process

Alyssa Kersey
Dissertation Title: Developmental Continuity in the Neural Representations of Number
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago

Linda Liu
Dissertation Title: Understanding Talkers: Adaptation, Generalization, and Causal Reasoning during Speech Perception
Current Position: Amazon Echo

Michael Melnick
Dissertation Title: Neural Efficiency and Processing: Understanding Visual Perceptual Processing using Transcranial Electrical Stimulation and fMRI in Cortically Blind Humans

Amanda Pogue
Dissertation Title: Talker-specific adaptation and generalization of pragmatic expectations
Current Position: Data Science Fellow, Insight Data Science


Santiago Alonso-Diaz
Dissertation Title: Number Representation in Perceptual Decisions
Current Position: Visiting Scholar, Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia

Keturah Bixby
Dissertation Title: Production Effects on Perception: How to Produce Sound Changes Auditory Perception
Senior Data Scientist, Measures for Justice

Goker Erdogan
Dissertation Title: Shape Perception as Bayesian Inference of Modality-Independent Part-Based 3D Object-Centered Shape Representations
Current Position: Software Engineer, Cogitai

Frank Garcea
Dissertation Title: The Organization of Manipulable Object Concepts in the Human Brain
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Woon Ju Park
Dissertation Title: A Mechanistic Understanding of Atypical Visual Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Current Position: Research Associate, University of Washington Seattle

Dan Pontillo
Dissertation Title: Object Naming in Visual Search Tasks
Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Ecole Normale Supérieure


Kaitlyn Bankieris
Dissertation Title: Is Synesthesia More Than Unusual Associations? Examining Cue Combination and Various Forms of Learning in Synesthetes
Current Position: Data Scientist at Mission Health

Sarah Bibyk
Dissertation Title: A Rise by Any Other Name An Investigation of the Production and Comprehension of Rising (and Falling) Intonation in Posts
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University

Esteban Buz
Dissertation Title: Speaking with a (Slightly) New Voice: An Investigative Speech Changes, Communicative Goals, and Learning from Past Communicative Success
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University

David Kleinschmidt
Dissertation Title: Perception in a Variable Purpose Structured World: The Case of Speech Perception
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Rutgers University

Caleb Strait
Dissertation Title: Neural Mechanisms of Reward-Based Choice
Current Position: Data Science Fellow, Insight Data Science


Tommy Blanchard
Dissertation Title: Value Computations and Representations
Current Position: Data Scientist, Fresenius Medical Care

Cory Bonn
Dissertation Title: On Theories of Abstract, Quantitative Representation
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia

Jennifer Merickel
Dissertation Title: Learning and Processing of Perceptual Confusability and the Mapping of Form to Meaning
Current Position: Instructor, Department of Neurological Sciences, Mind & Brain Health Labs, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Ruyuan Zhang
Dissertation Title: Computational and Psychophysical Mechanisms of Brain Plasticity induced by Perceptual Learning
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota 


Meredith Brown
Dissertation Title: Interpreting Prosodic Variation in Context
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Tufts University and Massachusetts General Hospital

Robert Emerson
Dissertation Title: Cognitive Neuroscience of Mathematics: Tuning up the Number System
Current Position: Head of Healthcare Data Management and Governance at Blue Cross of North Carolina

Maryia Fedzechkina
Dissertation Title: Communicative Efficiency, Language Learning, and Language Universals 
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

Whitney Gegg-Harrison
Dissertation Title: Knowledge and Naming in Interactive Conversation
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program, University of Rochester

Elisabeth Karuza
Dissertation Title: Learning Across Space, Time and Input Modality: Towards an Integrative, Domain-General Account of the Neural Substrates Underlying Visual and Auditory Statistical Learning
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

Ting Qian
Dissertation Title: Rational Perspectives on the Role of Stimulus Order in Human Cognition
Current Position: Data Scientist, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Ilker Yildirim
Dissertation Title: From Perception to Conception: Learning Multisensory Representations
Current Position: Research Scientist, MIT


Judith Degen
Dissertation Title: Alternatives in Pragmatic Reasoning
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Stanford University

Kevin Dieter
Dissertation Title: Influences of Selected Attention during Binocular Rivalry
Current Position: Evaluation Associate, The Steppingstone Foundation

Alex Fine
Dissertation Title: Prediction, Error, and Adaptation During Online Sentence Comprehension
Current Position: Quantitative Scientist, Flatiron Health

Davis Glasser
Dissertation Title: Adaptation, Modularity, and Mechanisms of Suppression in the Motion System
Current Position: Data Scientist, Knewton

Laurel Issen
Dissertation Title: Using Optic Flow to Determine Direction of Heading: Patterns of Spatial Information Use in Visually-Intact Human Observers and Following Vision Loss
Current Position: Consultant at GE Healthcare Partners

Celeste Kidd
Dissertation Title: Rational Approaches to Learning and Development
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Hyung Goo Kim
Dissertation Title: Neural Basis of Depth Perception from Motion Parallax
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University

Ashley McDermott
Dissertation Title: A Comparison of Two Video Game Genres as Cognitive Training Tools in Older Adults
Current Position: Freelance, Atentiv LLC

Emin Orhan
Dissertation Title: Theoretical Investigations in Visual Short-Term Memory: Structured Probabilistic Representations, Model Mismatch and Neural Population Coding
Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor College

David Ruskin
Dissertation Title: Cognitive Influences on the Evolution of New Languages
Current Position: Instructor, University of Rochester


Kristen Gorman
Dissertation Title: Investigating Interlocutors' Use of Common Ground During the Comprehension and Production of Referring Expressions
Current Position: Education Program Specialist, University of Minnesota

Elizabeth Hirshorn
Dissertation Title: Exploring Alternate Routes to Literacy in Profoundly Deaf Individuals
Current Position: Assistant Professor, New Paltz State University of New York

Jaewon Hwang
Dissertation Title: Face and Vocalization Processing in the Primate Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex
Current Position: Staff Scientist, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH

Christina Kim
Dissertation Title: Generating Alternatives: Interpreting Focus in Discourse
Current Position: Lecturer, University of Kent

Starling, Sarah
Dissertation Title: Learning and Behavior in an Uncertain World: Probability Learning in Children and Adults
Current Position: Assistant Professor, DeSales University


Kathleen Carbary
Dissertation Title: Syntactic Priming, Message Formation, and Successful Communication in Unscripted Dialogue
Current Position: Professor, Sacramento City College

Natalie Klein
Dissertation Title: Convention and Cognition: Weak Definite Noun Phrases
Current Position: Human Subjects Protection Scientist (CTR), Brooke Army Medical Center


Alison Austin
Dissertation Title: When children learn more than what they are taught: Regularization in child and adult learners

Neil Bardhan
Dissertation Title: Adults' self-directed learning of an artificial lexicon
Current Position: Science Communication Consultant, Bardhan Consulting

Austin Frank
Dissertation Title: Integrating Linguistic, Motor, and Perceptual Information in Language Production
Current Position: Data Science Manager, Riot Games

Renjie Li
Dissertation Title: The effects of action video game playing on low level vision
Current Position: Head of Data Science, Riot Games

Patricia Reeder
Dissertation Title: Distributional cues to grammatical categorization: Acquiring categories in a miniature artificial grammar
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College


Vikranth Rao Bejjanki
Dissertation Title: Computing the Face of Uncertainty: From Neurons to Behavior
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Hamilton College


Meghan Clayards
Dissertation Title: The ideal listener: Making optimal use of acoustic-phonetic cues for word recognition
Current Position: Associate Professor, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, McGill University

Benjamin Faber
Dissertation Title: Learning hierarchies: acquiring hierarchical structure from miniature artificial languages
Current Position: Associate Professor, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University

Christopher Shawn Green
Dissertation Title: The effects of action video game experience on perceptual decision making
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Hal Greenwald
Dissertation Title: Getting a grip on 3-D surface orientation: Binocular vision, cue integration and computation
Current Position: Program Officer, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Jelena Jovancevic
Dissertation Title: Control of attention and gaze in complex environments

Mikhail Masharov
Dissertation Title: Reference resolution and discourse salience

Constantin Rothkopf
Dissertation Title: Modular models of task based visually guided behavior
Current Position: Associate Professor, Technical University Darmstadt


Ellen Campana
Dissertation Title: Natural versus standardized approaches to spoken system design: a comparison using the dual-task paradigm
Current Position: Director, Data Science, KMPG US

Melchi Michel
Dissertation Title: Statistical mechanisms and constraints in perceptual learning: what can we learn?
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University

Kathleen Pirog Revill
Dissertation Title: Examining the unspoken word recognition: semantic representation and integration
Current Position: Facilities Manager, Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience, Emory University


William Owen Brimijoin
Dissertation Title: Auditory Receptive Fields and Responses to Frequency Modulation in Single Units in the Auditory Midbrain and Thalamus of the Bat
Current Position: Perceptual Research Scientist, Facebook Reality Labs

Volodymyr Ivanchenko
Dissertation Title: Cue-Dependent and Cue Invariant Mechanisms in Perception and Perceptual Learning
Current Position: Software Engineer, Google

Jeong Woo Sohn
Dissertation Title: Action Value and Motor Sequence Representation in the Primate Medial Frontal Cortex
Current Position: Principal Research, Daegu-Gyeongbuk Medical Innovation Foundation

Rachel Sussman
Dissertation Title: Verb-Instrument Information During On-Line Processing
Current Position: Fidelity Investments

Elizabeth Wonnacott
Dissertation Title: Acquiring argument structure from the input distribution: A miniature language study
Current Position: Senior Lecturer, University College London


Sarah Brown-Schmidt
Dissertation Title: Language Processing in Conversation
Current Position: Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University 

Sarah Creel
Dissertation Title: The Role of Talker Variation in Lexical Access
Current Position: Professor, University of California San Diego

Jason Droll
Dissertation Title: How Tasks Demands and Prior Knowledge Control Eye Movements, Visual Attention and Use of Working Memory
Current Position: Human Factors Scientist at Talas Engineering, Inc.


Bob McMurray
Dissertation Title: Within-category Variation is Used in Spoken Word Recognition: Temporal Integration at Two Time Scales
Current Position: Professor, University of Iowa


Joseph E. Atkins
Dissertation Title: Experience-dependent Visual Cue Integration Based on Consistencies and Discrepancies Between Visual and Haptic Percepts
Current Position: Research Scientist, Colby College

Mrim Boutla
Dissertation Title: Cognitive Mechanisms Underlying Capacity Limits in Working Memory: Insights from American Sign Language
Current Position: Leadership Coach, DC Tech Entrepreneur

Marie Coppola
Dissertation Title: The Emergence of Grammatical Categories in Home Sign: Evidence from Family-based Gesture Systems in Nicaragua
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

Sophie Deneve
Dissertation Title: Optimal Estimations and Computations with Population Codes by Interconnected Cortical Networks
Current Position: Research Director, The École des Neurosciences de Paris Île-de-France

Melissa Dominguez
Dissertation Title: Developing Vision
Current Position: Senior Software Developer for Platform

Julie Heinrich
Dissertation Title: Neural Correlates of the Sensitive Period for Avian Song Learning
Current Position: Research Health Science Specialist, VA Health Care System

Heidi Hofer
Dissertation Title: Implications of the Trichromatic Mosaic for Color Vision

Carla L. Hudson-Kam
Dissertation Title: Pidgins, Creoles, and Learners: How Children and Adults Contribute to the Formation of Creole Languages
Current Position: Professor, The University of British Columbia

Daniel S. Koo
Dissertation Title: On the Nature of Phonological Representations and Processing Strategies in Deaf Cuers of English
Current Position: Professor, Gallaudet University

Luisa Scott
Dissertation Title: Mechanisms of Neural and Vocal Plasticity in the Adult Song Bird
Current Position: Research Associate, Department of Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin

Susan Thompson Peirce
Dissertation Title: The Role of Transitional Probability in the Induction of the Phrases of a Miniature Artificial Language
Current Position: Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating Solutions, LLC


Inge-Marie Eigsti
Dissertation Title: Word Learning and Memory Functions in Young Children with Autism
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

Ruskin H. Hunt
Dissertation Title: The Induction of Categories from Distributionally Defined Contexts: Evidence from a Serial Reaction Time Task
Current Position: Research Associate, Cognitive Development and Neuroimaging LabUniversity of Minnesota

Keith Schneider
Dissertation Title: On Visual Prior Entry
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Delaware


Craig G. Chambers
Dissertation Title: The Dynamic Construction of Referential Domains
Current Position: Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Mississauga

Jeffry A. Coady
Dissertation Title: The Development of Sensitivity to Probabilistic Phonotactic Structure: Implications for Children's Lexical Representations
Current Position: Research Associate, Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado Boulder

Joy E. Hanna
Dissertation Title: The Effects of Linguistic Form, Common Ground, and Perspective on Domains of Referential Interpretation
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Daemen College

James S. Magnuson
Dissertation Title: The Microstructure of Spoken Word Recognition
Current Position: Professor, University of Connecticut

Danielle S. Ross
Dissertation Title: Disentangling the Nature-Nurture Interaction in the Language Acquisition Process: Evidence from Deaf Children of Hearing Parents Exposed to Non-native Input
Current Position: Senior Service Fellow/Health Scientist, Centers for Disease Control

Bonnie Ward
Dissertation Title: Characterizing the Relationship between Brain Space and Avian Vocal Learning
Current Position: Assistant Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, Otterbein University


Ione Fine
Dissertation Title: Perceptual Learning for Discriminating Complex Gratings
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Washington

Cornell W. Juliano
Dissertation Title: Frequency Effects on Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution during Sentence Processing
Current Position: Usability Principal

James R. Müller
Dissertation Title: Gain Controls and Pattern-selectivity in Striate Cortex (V1)


David G. Bensinger
Dissertation Title: Visual Working Memory in the Context of Ongoing Natural Behaviors

Barbara Ann Etzel
Dissertation Title: Adult Female-specific Environment-related SI: Role of Reproductive Hormones During Different Periods of Development

Kirsten K. Rudolph Noble
Dissertation Title: Motion and Form Perception following Lesions of Areas MT/MST and V4 in the Macaque Monkey
Current Position: Consulting Sr. Solution Engineer, ID Metrics, Inc


Mark E. Basham
Dissertation Title: The Role of NMDA Receptors in Zebra Finch Song Learning
Current Position: Associate Professor, Regis University

Andrea Li
Dissertation Title: Color and Brightness in Texture Segmentation
Current Position: Associate Professor, Psychology, Queens College City University of New York

Seth David Pollak
Dissertation Title: Early Experience and Cognitive Processing of Emotional Cues in Maltreated Children
Current Position: College of Letters & Science Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Jenny R. Saffran
Dissertation Title: Statistical Learning of Syntactic Structure: Mechanisms and Constraints
Current Position: College of Letters & Science Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Kathleen Straub
Dissertation Title: The Production of Prosodic Cues and Their Role in the Comprehension of Syntactically Ambiguous Sentences
Current Position: UX Researcher/Speaker/Coach at

Rebecca Webb
Dissertation Title: Linguistic Features of Metaphoric Gestures


G. Peter Bowen
Dissertation Title: Modification of the Acoustic Startle Reflex by Complex Sensory Prestimuli: The Roles of the Auditory and Visual Cortical Areas
Current Position: Dean of School of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Professor, Wayland Baptist University

Keith Karn
Dissertation Title: Human Perception, Cognition and Action
Current Position: Principal Consultant, Human Factors in Context

Gail Mauner
Dissertation Title: The Role of Implicit Arguments in Sentence Processing
Current Position: Associate Professor, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Toben H. Mintz
Dissertation Title: The Roles of Linguistic Input and Innate Mechanisms in Children's Acquisition of Grammatical Categories
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Southern California

María Montserrat Sanz Yagüe
Dissertation Title: Telicity, Objects and the Mapping onto Predicate Types. A Cross-linguistic Study of the Role of Syntax in Processing
Current Position: Associate Professor, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Kobe, Japan

Jeff Pelz
Dissertation Title: Visual Representations in a Visuo-motor Task
Current Position: Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

Michael J. Spivey
Dissertation Title: Integration of Visual and Linguistic Information in Real-time and in Real-space
Current Position: Professor, University of California, Merced


Michael Burek
Dissertation Title: Regulation of Neuron Number during Sexual Differentiation of the Avian Brain

Leslie Cameron
Dissertation Title: Factors Determining the Latency of Saccadic Eye Movements
Current Position: Professor, Carthage College

SuJean Choi
Dissertation Title: The Function of Noradrenergic Projections to the Hypothalamus is Altered During Adolescent Development in the Male Rat
Current Position: Professor, Marquette University

Boris Goldowsky
Dissertation Title: Learning Structured Systems from Imperfect Information
Current Position: Director of Technology, CAST

Joel Lachter
Dissertation Title: Processing of Unattended Objects in Vision
Current Position: Senior Research Associate, NASA

Daniel Yen Lin
Dissertation Title: The Effects of Neonatal Exposure to Cocaine on Responsiveness to Rewarding Stimuli in Young Adult Rats


Sandra M. Aamodt
Dissertation Title: Activation and Expression of the N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptor during the Sensitive Period for Avian Song Learning
Current Position: Freelance Science Writer

Susan J. Galvin
Dissertation Title: The Spatial Grain of Motion Perception in Human Peripheral Vision
Current Position: Clinical Psychologist, Canterbury District Health Board

Kenneth Shenkman
Dissertation Title: Structure Sensitivity and Language Processing in Adult Learners of English
Current Position: Owner, Bulk Candy Store


S. Jandreau
Dissertation Title: Sentence Meaning and Discourse Meaning

Per Möller
Dissertation Title: Influence of Color on Motion Segmentation
Current Position: Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen

Ann Skoczenski
Dissertation Title: The Development of Position Sensitivity in the Infant Visual System: Evoked Potentials, Motion and Blur
Current Position: Senior Program Manager, Massachusetts General Hospital

John Trueswell
Dissertation Title: The Use of Verb-Based Subcategorization and Thematic Role Information in Sentence Processing
Current Position: Professor, University of Pennsylvania


Julie E. Boland
Dissertation Title: The Use of Lexical Knowledge in Sentence Processing
Current Position: Professor, University of Michigan

Walter Murphy
Dissertation Title: Speech Recognition in Noise: Developmental Changes Four to Six Years of Age
Current Position: Director of Research Support and Compliance, Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Nobutoshi Sekiguchi
Dissertation Title: Contrast Sensitivity for Isoluminant Interference Fringes in Human Foveal Vision


Roland Curt Burgess
Dissertation Title: Interaction of Semantic, Syntactic and Visual Factors in Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution
Current Position: Professor, University of California, Riverside

Robert Peterson
Dissertation Title: Lexical Activation and Phonological Competition in Form-related Priming

Renee Primus
Dissertation Title: The Importance of Pubertal-Related Events on the Development of Adaptive Behavioral Responses and Related Neural Systems
Current Position: Group Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Farida Sohrabji
Dissertation Title: Neural Changes Associated with Sexual Differentiation and Early Learning
Current Position: Professor, Texas A & M University Health Science Center


Michael D'Zmura
Dissertation Title: Surface Color Psychophysics
Position: Professor, University of California, Irvine

Mark Fairchild
Dissertation Title: Chromatic Adaptation and Color Appearance
Position: Dean Associate, Rochester Institute of Technology

Ronald L. Gerrard
Dissertation Title: Auditory Masking in the Rat: Frequency Specificity, Shape Auditory Filter, and Effects of Noise-Induced Hearing Impairment