Ph.D., Iowa State University
We live in a world that is “blooming and buzzing with confusion.” Despite this ambiguity, we can perform complex perceptual feats such as reading handwritten notes and listening to friends in a noisy bar. My research centers on obtaining a better understanding of how the brain deals with this noisy information. More specifically, my ongoing research seeks to explore the role of domain-general processing (e.g., cognitive control or effort) in language processing. This includes the exploration of the underlying mechanisms and representations needed to recognize words and understand speech. Within this, I am interested in the role of desirable difficulties (i.e., any condition that makes learning more difficult but has the desirable effect of enhancing memory) in learning. To examine these questions, I integrate behavioral paradigms with physiology, neuroimaging, and eye-tracking to provide a complete picture of language and memory processing. A theme throughout all my research has been the broader issue of how scientists should conduct research and make inferences.