Tufts University  |  School of Arts and Sciences  |  Find People  | 


Office hours (PDF): Faculty/Staff | Teaching Assistants

Graduate Students
Gizem Altheimer
Background: I graduated from Oberlin College in 2012 with a B.A. in psychology, where I studied the effects of corumination on interpersonal problem solving abilities. Before coming to Tufts, I spent 2 years as a research assistant at the Center for Social Development and Education at UMass Boston, as well as the Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Research at Harvard University.
Current Research: Interpersonal emotion regulation in clinical populations
Future Plans: To teach and conduct exciting research that has real-world applications
Muna Akhtar
Advisor: Jessica Remedios, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. I then spent the next year working as a research assistant and lab manager at Loyola studying stereotypes and their role in juror decision-making as well as studying motivation gains in small groups.
Current Research: I am most interested in studying stigma, discrimination, and stereotypes. More specifically, I want to know how context and having multiple identities affect the process of attributing an outcome to discrimination.
Future Plans: Teach and conduct research I love. Learn how to fly a plane.
Edward Alexander
Advisor: Gina Kuperberg, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from Hampshire College with a Concentration in Cognitive Science. Before Tufts, I worked as a research assistant at Rutgers.
Current Research: My research interests include the development of effective reading strategies, violations of expectations, and multimodal perception.
Future Plans: Research and Teaching
Julie Cantelon
Advisor: Robin Kanarek, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from Denison University in 2009, with a B.A. in Psychology and a concentration in neuroscience. I then worked for three years as research assistant at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center, where I ran studies focusing on evaluating individual differences in cognitive performance under physical and emotional stress, as well as exercise, emotion and prefrontal cortex activation.
Current research: Examining the relationships between nutrition, exercise and stress on cognitive function and eating behavior.
Future Plans: Continue research on nutrition, exercise and cognitive function with the Army.
Chelsea Crittle
Advisor: Keith Maddox, Ph.D.
Background: I earned my B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Comparative Women's Studies from Spelman College in 2015 where I worked with Dr. Valerie Jones-Taylor, studying stereotype confirming behaviors and Interracial Interactions in various contexts.
Current Research: Generally, I am interested in the study of interracial interactions, stereotyping, prejudice and power. Currently, I am investigating the ways in which people respond to claims of racial bias.
Future Plans: To put out research that will contribute to a better understanding of the psychological processes that play a role in the disenfranchisement of minorities.
Ruizhi Dai
Area of Study: Cognitive
Advisor: Holly Taylor, Ph.D. and Ayanna Thomas, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from Chongqing Technology and Business University with a bachelor's degree in applied physics. After graduation I worked as an RA in the Tufts Spatial Cognition Lab for a year.
Current Research: Spatial cognition, visual spatial working memory, metamemory and aging.
Future Plans: Research and teaching.
Renee DeCaro
Area of Study: Cognitive
Advisor: Ayanna Thomas, Ph.D.
Background: I earned my B.S. in Psychology from University of Southern Indiana. Before coming to Tufts, I worked at the Memory and Cognition Lab at Brandeis University, where I investigated how working memory demands impact speech comprehension for older adults with and without hearing loss.
Current research interests: age differences in metacognitive control; the relationship between social isolation and cognition for older adults.
David DiStefano
Advisor: Elizabeth Race, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from WPI in 2015 having double-majored in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. I've 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.
Julia Felicione
Advisor: Lisa Shin
Background: I received my B.A. in both Psychology and Cognitive Science from Johns Hopkins University in 2016. I then worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital for two years with Drs. Dougherty, Widge and Deckersbach where I studied fMRI methods and analysis as applied to a variety of psychiatric illnesses. I also spent a year and a half working with Dr. Carl Schwartz at MGH in his Developmental Neuroimaging and Psychopathology Laboratory, studying the neurobiological development of mood and anxiety disorders, beginning as early as four months of age.
Current Research: Here at Tufts, I am using a multimodal neuroimaging approach to study the neurochemistry and circuitry of the amygdala and hippocampus in individuals with PTSD. I am also interested in continuing my work in developmental neurobiology to work towards the understanding and prediction of risk and resilience in anxiety disorders and following early-life trauma.
Victoria Floerke
Area of Study: Affective Neuroscience
Advisor: Heather Urry, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from the University of Denver in 2012 with a B.A. in psychology, where I was an honors undergraduate research assistant in the Emotion Regulation Lab (now the Emotion & Emotion Regulation Lab at the University of California, Berkeley). After graduation I spent a year working in the Intergroup Social Perception Lab at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Current Research: I'm broadly interested in the resources and processes older adults utilize to successfully regulate their emotions.
Future Plans: Tackling all of my Tufts undertakings victoriously
Maria Garay
Advisor: Jessica Remedios, Ph.D.
Area of study: Social Psychology
Background: I received my B.S. in Psychology and a minor in English from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. I worked as a Research Assistant in the ISP (Intergroup Social Perception) Lab with Dr. Kristin Pauker during my undergrad, where I developed my current interest in research.
Research Interest: I'm interested in perceptions of various multiracial groups and their positionality in society. Specifically, how are multiracial groups viewed as different or similar, and how does that affect their navigation through a diversifying world.
Future Plans: I think I'll have an answer for this in the future!
Suzanne Gray
Area of Study: Comparative Cognition, Avian Cognition
Advisor: Robert Cook, Ph.D.
Background: I earned my bachelor's degree in 2014 from Harvard University Extension majoring in Psychology. Since 2012, I have worked as Dr. Irene Pepperberg's Lab Manager in her Avian Cognition Lab studying the cognitive and commutative abilities of African Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Specifically I focused on concepts involving probabilistic reasoning, delay of gratification, and Piagetian volume conservation.
Current Research: I am interested in exploring and comparing the cognitive abilities of various avian species in both the laboratory and field setting. I am also interested in applying this research to the conservation and protection of endangered avian species.
Paige Hickey
Area of Study: Neuroscience
I received my B.S. in Neuroscience from Furman University in 2015. During my time at Furman I worked in a sleep and EEG lab studying the effects of waking rest on memory consolidation. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant for the Human Neurobehavioral Core at Boston Children's Hospital where I worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and a variety of other rare genetic disorders.
Current Research: I am interested in using EEG to study attention and memory networks and how they are used to generate future predictions.
Future Plans: Research and Teaching
Cecilia Hinojosa
Area of Study: Experimental Clinical, Neuroimaging PTSD
Advisor: Dr. Lisa Shin
Background: I graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at El Paso. During my time there, I was working in a behavioral neuroscience laboratory for three years under the guidance of Dr. Laura O'Dell where we focused on nicotine addiction in a rat model of diabetes. I also worked in Dr. Michael Zarate's Social/Cognitive Laboratory for two and a half years where I focused on understanding negativity bias in models of PTSD.
Current Research: I am interested in using neuroimaging techniques to identify predictors of treatment response in patients with PTSD.
Future Plans: I would like to continue a career in research as well as teach.
Gregory Hughes
Area of Study: Cognitive
Advisor: Ayanna Thomas, PhD.
Background: I earned my bachelors in English and Political Science with a minor in Psychology from UMass Amherst. After graduating, I worked in the labs of Dr. Ayanna Thomas and Dr. Holly Taylor for two years.
Current Research: Broadly speaking, I study the cognitive mechanisms underlying people's ability to introspect on their own thoughts and memories. I aim to devise methods for improving these skills, and hope my research can contribute to educational practices.
Ashlynn Keller
Area of Study: Comparative Cognition, Learning, and Neuroscience
Advisor: Robert Cook, Ph.D.
Background: I earned my B.S. in Psychology and Biomedical Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013. I started my undergraduate career working in a human cognition lab studying affect, mood, and memory. At the end of my sophomore year I began working in the Comparative Cognition and Perception Lab where I focused on object and numerosity discrimination in goldfish (Carassius auratus) and tool use/problem solving in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and human children. Post-graduation I spent a year working at an aquarium learning about different species of marine and freshwater animals and special husbandry techniques.
Current Research: I am interested in expanding the general understanding of fish cognition continuing with my previous numerosity research and extending that to other domains within the auditory and visual domains. Additionally, I am interested in the mechanisms involved in both auditory discrimination and motion discrimination in avian species as well as the neurobiology underlying those mechanisms.
Future Plans: To develop as both a researcher and teacher and expand my knowledge along the way.
Ann Kochupurackal
Advisor: Ariel Goldberg, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated with a B.A. in linguistics from the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College in 2019. I worked in an NSF-sponsored research program with Dr. Katrien Vermeire, studying the relationship between hearing impairment and bilingualism in relation to cognitive decline.
Current Research: How language is broadly affected by cognitive decline and associated disorders
Rebecca Peretz-Lange
Area of Study: Cognitive, Developmental
Advisor: Paul Muentener. Ph.D.
Background: In 2013 I received my BA from Wesleyan University, where I double-majored in psychology and philosophy. There, I spent two years in a cognitive development lab studying how language impacts children's number concepts, and in a social cognition lab studying impacts of gender-neutral language. After graduating, I worked as a research assistant with Facing History, an international education non-profit, measuring the effects of different history pedagogies on children's moral, social, and historical reasoning.
Current research: My research explores the development of social cognition. In particular, I am interested in our early reasoning about why social groups (e.g., race, gender groups) are different from one another (in behavior, status, etc.) Why do we intuitively infer that intrinsic, biological causes explain these differences, rather than extrinsic, sociological causes? How can language impact this reasoning?
Michael Leonard
Advisor: Klaus Miczek, Ph.D.
Area of Study: Behavioral Pharmacology
Background: I graduated from Stonehill College with a B.S. in Neuroscience. After graduating I spent three years working as a research technician in the Preclinical Pharmacology Program at McLean Hospital studying the behavioral and cognitive consequences of drugs of abuse, as well as basic cannabinoid pharmacology.
Current Research: Investigating the role of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) in mediating the stress-induced emergence of addictive-like behaviors.
Future Plans: Research
Kimberly Louis-Jean
Advisor: Ariel Goldberg, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from Salem State University with a B.F.A. in 2009. I then worked in the web industry for close to ten years. In 2019 I received my Master's in linguistics from UNH.
Current Research: The production of words both in spoken and written language. I am also interested in ASL and the semantic relationship between words.
Future Plans: Continuing research
Lauren Mason
Advisor: Holly Taylor, Ph.D. and Ayanna Thomas, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in both Psychology and Holistic Health. During my time there, I worked with Dr. Kenneth Paap in a Language Attention and Cognitive Engineering lab, where I conducted an honors thesis on autism traits, executive functions, and exercise. I also conducted research with Dr. Erik Peper and Dr. Richard Harvey in a lab for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, where I studied the relationship between physiology and cognitive functioning, broadly.
Current Research: I am interested in the intersection between spatial cognition, metacognitive and self-regulatory strategies, and performance optimization.
Future Plans: I look forward to conducting research which advances the field and concurrently provides positive impacts for society. I also hope to become a professor in the future!
Thomas McWilliams
Advisor: Nathan Ward, Ph.D.
Background: I received a B.A. in Psychology focusing in Cognitive Neuroscience from the George Washington University. After graduating I spent 3 years at the MIT AgeLab researching aging, attention, and human machine interactions in driving environments.
Current Research: I am interested in how multiple streams of information are handled in both lab and applied scenarios. Also, how tools like low current brain stimulation and virtual environments can be used to understand multitasking.
Julia Mertens
Area of Study: Cognitive Science
Advisor: J.P. de Ruiter
Background: I received a B.S. in Psychology and Cognitive Science in 2015 from the University of Connecticut, where I studied language development in autism spectrum disorders and computational modeling of language. From 2015 to 2017, I worked in a research lab studying social communication (facial expressions, eye gaze, language) and physical arousal in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders.
Current Research: How and why people misinterpret each others' words and intentions, especially in clinical populations and across social strata or power differentials.
Future Plans: Conquering my impostor syndrome
Emily Newman
Area of Study: Behavioral Pharmacology
Advisor: Klaus Miczek
Background: I graduated from Tufts University in 2010, earning a BS in Psychology and completing thesis work on alcohol-heightened aggression and NMDA receptor antagonism in mice. Following graduation, I worked for three years as a research technician in the Tufts Psychopharmacology Lab.
Current Research: My research aims to clarify the role of NMDA and GABAA receptors in the escalation of aggression by alcohol, benzodiazepines and neurosteroids. I am particularly interested in using behavioral and pharmacological techniques in mice to characterize the individual differences that distinguish alcohol-heightened from non-heightened aggressors.
Future Plans: To contribute to our understanding of behavioral pharmacology, and eventually to learn how to scuba dive.
Samer Nour Eddine, M.D.
Area of study: Cognitive Science
Advisor: Gina Kuperberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, where I completed my undergraduate (BS, Biology, 2014) and medical studies (MD, 2018). In medical school, I spent four months working on behavioral studies of language processing at Dr. David Caplan's Neuropsychology Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital, using an eye tracking reading paradigm to investigate whether specific patterns of eye movements predict successful comprehension in complex sentences.
Current Research: I am interested in studying the processes that go awry in psychotic disorders, and how this influences the neural correlates of language comprehension.
Jeremy Pagan
Advisor: Sam Sommers, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Cultural Studies in Religion - European & Middle Eastern Religions, from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. I worked with Dr. Christine Reyna exploring stereotype threat of police and demonstrators during group encounters (demonstrations).
Current Research: I am interested in exploring the perceptions of authority, stereotype threat in intergroup and interracial contexts, and race and discrimination.
Future Plans: Become the next Steve Jobs...somehow!
Giulia I. Pintea
Advisor: Richard Chechile, Ph.D.
Background: I earned my B.S. in Psychology and Biostatistics with a minor in Mathematics at Simmons University in 2019. During my undergraduate career, I conducted research in various fields, some of which are nutritional neuroscience, mathematics, computer science, and medicine.
Current Research: I am exploring memory processes through Bayesian statistics and mathematical modeling techniques.
Future Plans: My goal is to continue my career in research at the intersection of psychology and statistics/data science.
Raea Rasmussen
Area of Study: Social
Advisor: Sam Sommers, Ph.D.
Background: I received my B.A. in Psychology at Williams College in 2015 where I worked with Dr. Steven Fein studying the effects of self-affirmation on participants' willingness to discuss race-related issues. Before coming to Tufts, I worked for a year as a lab manager with Dr. Nate Kornell at Williams College studying how people learn most efficiently and their metacognitive beliefs about learning.
Current Research: Generally I am interested in understanding the psychological perspective on stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Currently I am focused on studying interracial interactions and how we can promote productive interracial dialogue about race-related issues.
Future Plans: Put out research that helps us tackle issues of racism and discrimination. Play semi-professional volleyball for extra cash along the way.
Andrew Rouse
Area of Study: Comparative Cognition
Advisors: Aniruddh Patel, Ph.D. and Mimi Kao, Ph.D. (Biology)
Background: I graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with my BS in Biology in 2011. Since then I have been a research assistant at the Pinniped Cognition and Sensory Systems Laboratory, where I worked on behavioral studies of hearing, learning, and problem-solving in animals, including seals, sea lions, and sea otters, as well as rhythm entrainment in a California sea lion.
Current Research: Rhythm perception and processing in zebra finches, examining the role that vocal plasticity might have.
Future Plans: Expand our understanding of rhythm perception and performance using human and non-human models.
Victoria Sharpe
Background: I graduated in 2015 from the University of South Carolina Honors College, where I spent 3 1/2 years in Dr. Dirk den Ouden's Neurolinguistics Lab, working on behavioral and fMRI studies of language processing. After graduation, I spent 2 years as a full-time research assistant at the NYU Neuroscience of Language Lab, using MEG to investigate aspects of form typicality and syntactic prediction in English. In Dr. Kuperberg's lab, I plan to continue my research on neurolinguistic processing, with emphasis on interactions with emotion and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Christopher Thomas
Advisor: Holly Taylor, Ph.D.
Background: I received a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from San Francisco State University, and an MSc in Cognitive Science from University of Edinburgh. My master's thesis was on peripersonal space plasticity in human-computer interaction. I also spent a year working at the Brain Imaging and EEG Lab at University of California, San Francisco, a lab that studies brain functioning in schizophrenia.
Current Research: Studying the way people navigate and build spatial representations via a wearable compass. Also, the way interactive technology mediates people's engagement with the world.
Chyei Vinluan
Advisor: Jessica Remedios, Ph.D.
Background: I received my B.S. from the University of Illinois-Chicago and double majored in biology and psychology. After, I received a teaching fellowship from the psychology department at UIC and worked as Dr. Courtney Bonam's lab manager.
Current Research: I'm interested in the effects of stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice on interracial interactions, specifically for multiracial individuals.
Future Plans: Research, Teach, and Bake
Lena Warnke
Advisor: J.P. de Ruiter and Gina Kuperberg
Area of Study: Cognitive Science
Background: I graduated from New York University with a B.A. in Linguistics and a minor in Psychology. I then spent two years as a full-time research assistant in the NeuroCognition of Language Lab here at Tufts, where I worked on several projects examining the role of prediction in language comprehension.
Current research: I am interested in the cognitive and neural basis of predictive mechanisms in conversational turn-taking.
Future plans: TBD
Thomas Wooten
Advisor: Nathan Ward, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 with a B.S. in psychology, where I studied the relationship between sleep and cognition. I then spent three years as a research assistant at the Boston VA Hospital studying neuroimaging, cognition, mobility and aging.
Current Research: I am interested in better characterizing the relationship between aging, mobility, and cognition through cognitive-motor interference tasks and brain stimulation.
Future Plans: Continue in research and explore teaching
Alia Wulff
Area of Study: Cognitive
Advisor: Ayanna Thomas, Ph.D.
Background: I graduated from Western Washington University in 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology. There, I spent three years as a research assistant studying various cognitive processes, such as involuntary and intrusive thoughts, source monitoring errors, and inattentional blindness.
Current Research: Misinformation in the context of eyewitness memory. 
Future Plans: Teaching and researching.
Recent Graduates

Gizem Altheimer, Ph.D., 2019
Daniella Arena, M.S., 2019
Keri Carvalho, Ph.D. 2019
Allison Fogel, Ph.D. 2019
Hunter Johndro, M.S., 2019
Lindsay Hinzman, Ph.D. 2019
Aleksandra Kaszowska, Ph.D. 2019
Navneet Kaur, Ph.D. 2019
Clinton Perry, Ph.D. 2019
Jennifer Perry, Ph.D. 2019
Helen Pu, Ph.D. 2019
Lara Vujovic, Ph.D. 2019

Mary Kate Dahlgren, Ph.D. 2018
Amy Smith, Ph.D. 2018

Alex Borgella, Ph.D. 2017
Rabia Ergin, Ph.D. 2017
Eric Fields, Ph.D. 2017
Han Xiao, Ph.D. 2017
Nicole Jurdak, Ph.D. 2017
Satia Marotta, Ph.D. 2017
Muhammad Qadri, Ph.D. 2017

Nate Delaney-Busch, Ph.D. 2016
Aaron Gardony, Ph.D. 2016
Grace Giles, Ph.D. 2016
Simon Howard, Ph.D. 2016
Megan Strait, Ph.D. 2016

Daniel Barch, Ph.D. 2015
Maria Barth, Ph.D. 2015
Naomi Kenney Caselli, Ph.D. 2015
Leamarie Gordon, Ph.D. 2015
Elizabeth Holly, Ph.D. 2015
Lara Hwa, Ph.D. 2015
Meeyeon Lee, Ph.D. 2015
Michael Vanelzakker, Ph.D. 2015
Erin Warren, Ph.D. 2015

Jeffrey Birk, Ph.D. 2014
Christopher Boyson, Ph.D. 2014
Sarah Gaither, Ph.D. 2014
Marshall G. Miller, Ph.D. 2014
Matthew Murphy, Ph.D. 2014
Philipp Opitz, Ph.D. 2014
Jenni Schultz, Ph.D. 2014
Michael Slepian, Ph.D. 2014

Patricia Allen, Ph.D. 2013
Carl Hagmann, Ph.D. 2013
Lisa Lucia, Ph.D. 2013
Qi Wang, Ph.D. 2013
Cherry Yum, Ph.D. 2013

Laura Babbitt, Ph.D. 2012
Kathleen Rives Bogart, Ph.D. 2012
Neil Cohn, Ph.D. 2012
Kristin Dukes, Ph.D. 2012
Jon Freeman, Ph.D. 2012
Reid Offringa, Ph.D. 2012
Kana Okano, Ph.D. 2012
Martin Paczynski, Ph.D. 2012
Lara Sloboda, Ph.D. 2012

Steve Maher, Ph.D. 2011
Negin Toosi, Ph.D. 2011

Katie Handwerger, Ph.D. 2010
Sara McKenzie-Quirk, Ph.D. 2010
Nick Rule, Ph.D. 2010

Evan Apfelbaum, Ph.D. 2009
Reyyan Bilge, Ph.D. 2009
Krysta Chauncey, Ph.D. 2009
Jenn DiCorcia, Ph.D. 2009
Alexandra Geyer, Ph.D. 2009
Angie Koban, Ph.D. 2009
Kristin Pauker, Ph.D. 2009
Jasmine Yap, Ph.D. 2009

Tad Brunye, Ph.D. 2007
Sarah Rose Cavanagh, Ph.D. 2007
Jessica Chamberland, Ph.D. 2007
Tali Ditman, Ph.D. 2007
Gina Melnik, Ph.D. 2007

Herbert Evans Covington, III, Ph.D. 2006
Sara Park Faccidomo, Ph.D. 2006
Jason Sidman, Ph.D. 2006
Yvonne Wakeford, Ph.D. 2006

Leslie Adams Lariviere, Ph.D. 2005
Rinah Yamamoto, Ph.D. 2005

R. Todd Coy, Ph.D. 2004
Heidi Dobish, Ph.D. 2004
Marcy Goldsmith, Ph.D. 2004
Terri S. Krangel, Ph.D. 2004

Amy Brugger Clement, Ph.D. 2003
Sue Butler, Ph.D. 2003
Gemma Casadesus, Ph.D. 2003
Eric Fish, Ph.D. 2003
Stephanie Gray, Ph.D. 2003
Tatiana Sitnikova, Ph.D. 2003