Cognition involves the ability to perceive, attend, remember, and make decisions about the world around us. The Office of Applied Cognition (OAC) is a home for researchers who want to understand how cognitive processes are deployed in complex real-world events. To understand why this is important, you have realize that researchers tend to focus exclusively in laboratory or applied settings. We take a different approach. Like "pure" basic scientists, we agree on the importance of theoretically-driven research. However, we believe that considering the complexity of real-world cognition can inform our understanding of basic mechanisms (e.g., how theories “scale up” from simple to complex tasks) while providing needed applications. As a result, our work is conducted in both laboratory and naturalistic settings, and discoveries that are made in one setting can be tested in the other. Put another way, we take the knowledge, theories, and methodologies of Cognitive Science and attempt to apply them in ways that improve performance in real-world settings (e.g., in education, medicine, or everyday problem solving). We also seek to take what we learn from studying cognition in these settings to learn more about basic mechanisms of cognition and other determinants of behavior.
The OAC was founded in 2004 by Robert Mathews and Sean Lane. The OAC is housed in the Department of Psychology at LSU, but includes affiliated faculty from a wide variety of disciplines. We believe that this diversity strengthens the utility of our work and the knowledge that is gained from our efforts. This web site provides information about the people involved in the OAC, descriptions of research projects, publications, and information for how to contact us.
For updates about our current activities, click here to go the OAC blog.