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The cognitive psychology graduate program is designed to provide students with skills in critical thinking, experimental design, and data analysis, along with breadth and depth in understanding past research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. We aim to cultivate students who are competitive for future positions in academia or industry.
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The primary goal of the cognitive psychology graduate program is training a new generation of theoretically focused scientists to understand the mind and brain. We provide exciting opportunities for training in research with a number of different populations (including brain-damaged adults, infants, and children) and a range of state-of-the-art techniques. The Center for Biomedical and Brain Imaging houses a 3T Siemens Prisma scanner, and we provide extensive training in neuroimaging, including fMRI, DTI, MVPA, and other analysis techniques. We also provide training in EEG, brain stimulation (TMS), eye tracking, computational modeling, and behavioral experiments. UD's Early Learning Center provides on-campus opportunities for research on cognitive development. We encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary research, so our students can obtain the kind of broad training that is required in today’s research environment.
Furthermore, we believe that along with methodological expertise, it is critical that students develop a strong theoretical foundation in understanding cognitive processes. Students develop these skills via formal coursework in statistics, methods, and special topics in cognition. Students will also learn through conducting their own research and interacting with faculty who address the following questions:
How do language and perception connect in the mind? What can this connection tell us about the conceptual system? (Alon Hafri)
How does the brain/mind represent the scenes that surround us? What do memory errors reveal about the mind? (Helene Intraub)
What are the computations and cognitive processes underlying our ability to learn and adapt complex motor skills? (Hyosub Kim)
What is the fundamental architecture of the brain that gives rise to our conscious perceptions? (Keith Schneider)
How does the brain learn the structure of the visual world and the values associated with our perceptual experiences and actions? (Tim Vickery)
How do our interactions with digital technology influence decision-making and cognitive control? (Robert West)
How do we remember events from our past? How do the brain's functional networks support this capacity? (Adrian Gilmore)
How does our brain process the visual input so that we can interact with objects and people in our environment? (Maryam Vaziri-Pashkam)
Our students will also receive training in teaching. This is provided in the form of teaching assistantships and courses on best practices in teaching.
For more information about our program (including admission), please see the cognitive graduate program FAQ.
Faculty members have been awarded APA and APS Fellowships and have been appointed as editors or editorial board members of journals such as Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, Child Development, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Psychological Science, Psychology and Aging, and Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Faculty research has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, Parents Magazine, CNN, and Discovery Channel.
Our faculty are currently funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. This includes grants using functional neuroimaging to understand dyslexia, robotics to assess visuoproprioceptive integration in brain-damaged individuals, and a new NSF grant to create a post-baccalaureate BRIDGE program in data science and psychology for underrepresented students.
Our labs tackle core aspects of information-processing, such as scene representation, body representation, language, attention, emotion, learning, and categorization. Many of our faculty have expertise in spatial cognition: how we think about, navigate and perceive the world around us. Given that our faculty have complementary strengths, we strongly encourage bridge-building between labs.
Cognitive students collaborate freely with researchers not only from the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, but also from Linguistics, Education, and Philosophy. Developmental research is enhanced by strong ties to the Early Learning Center and the Cognitive Science Program in Linguistics. Neuropsychological and brain stimulation research is enhanced by collaborations with the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute and faculty in the College of Health Sciences.
Our faculty also have active collaborations with labs at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the University of Pennsylvania.
For questions about the program not covered on the website, please contact the Director:
Dr. Keith Schneider