login to PAWS
Baton Rouge, Louisiana |
LSU




PEOPLE

DIRECTORS

Robert C. Mathews
Robert C. Mathews



                Professor
                Department of Psychology
                Louisiana State University
                Email:psmath@lsu.edu
                Phone:(225)578-4114

Dr. Mathews is a Professor of Psychology, Chair of the psychology department, and Co-Director of the Office of Applied Cognition. He received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1976 and has been a teacher/researcher at LSU ever since.

As I look back on a 30-year career of research, I see two themes in my work. One theme is how the nonconscious processes within the human mind influence cognition. The second theme is that basic research findings should not only be useful, but actually be used. My early work focused on the way the mind automatically links information. One surprising finding was that noticing contrasts (noticing specific differences between items) formed almost as good a mental glue for memory retrieval as did noticing similarities. Much later, I realized that forgetting is actually the mind's way of abstracting knowledge. This memory driven learning has been the central concept in my work on implicit learning. On the practical side, my current research focuses on how nonconscious, memory driven processes work together (or sometimes against) with our conscious model-based processing. The Army Research Institute has sponsored this work in conjunction with Ron Sun at RPI to discover the optimal way to combine experiential (learning by doing) and reflective (model based) training. My most recent work, in collaboration with Sean Lane, involves two projects: Work on the diagnostic task involves a computer simulated doctor treatment program. It simulates patients visiting a doctor and getting treatments. We are interested in “doctors” ability to pick up on multiple positive and negative effects of treatments over time. Our results may have important implications for medical errors. The second project involves the development of expertise in teachers. This project involves both laboratory work, investigating basic cognitive abilities of expert teachers, and fieldwork, working with teachers to improve their practice through deliberate practice.



Sean M. Lane
Sean M. Lane



                Associate Professor
                Department of Psychology
                Louisiana State University
                Email:slane@lsu.edu
                Phone:(225)578-4098

Dr. Sean Lane is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, Area head of the Cognitive and Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program, and Co-Director of the Office of Applied Cognition. Dr. Lane has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Kent State University. Prior to coming to LSU, he was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UNLV, a visiting scholar at Princeton University, and worked in the Silicon Valley in the area of Human Factors.

There are two basic themes to my research in the area of cognition. The first theme focuses on the monitoring and control (metacognitive) processes involved in learning and memory. My primary research line is motivated by source monitoring theory and focuses primarily on understanding how memory decisions are made. My research has examined how memory is affected by post-event information (eyewitness suggestibility), and how memory decisions might be made more accurate by highlighting important features that distinguish between different sources. A second line of research in this theme concerns the role of monitoring and control processes in tasks where people have little conscious awareness of learning (implicit tasks). I have collaborated with Robert Mathews on research designed to examine the factors that facilitate or hinder the acquisition of expertise in these tasks.

A second theme involves understanding how cognitive processes are deployed in complex real-world events. This work is motivated by the belief that considering the complexity of real-world cognition can inform our understanding of basic mechanisms while providing needed applications. As a result, my work is conducted in both “in vivo” (naturalistic) and “in vitro” (laboratory) settings (see Dunbar & Blanchette, 2001). This theme is represented by my work in eyewitness memory, and by NSF-funded research conducted with Robert Mathews on teacher expertise and deliberate practice. In the latter work, we used insights from research on the development of expertise (e.g., Ericsson, 2009) and mechanisms of learning to develop a program designed to help teachers focus their practice efforts in ways that enhance their expertise. We are also doing lab-based research examining the relations between cognitive and motivational variables and teacher knowledge and performance. A major goal of this work is to develop a deeper theoretical understanding of the knowledge and skills that underlie teacher expertise.



GRADUATE STUDENTS

Stephanie Groft
Stephanie Groft




                Email: smart36@tigers.lsu.edu

Stephanie Groft graduated as a University Medalist from Louisiana State University with a B.S. in psychology in 2006. She completed a M.A. in Cognitive/Developmental Psychology under the direction of Dr. Lane in 2008. She is beginning her fifth year in the Cognitive/Developmental doctoral program. Her research interests are in the areas of source monitoring and eyewitness memory. She is also interested in how feedback is used to reduce errors in testing situations. Specific projects include individual differences in the ability to monitor the source of memory, factors affecting eyewitness identification, and individual differences in correct feedback usage. She has also done work examining judge's beliefs about jurors' knowledge of factors that affect eyewitness memory accuracy and she has investigated the role attention plays in addictive behavior.



Jon Tall
Jon Tall




                  Email: jtall1@tigers.lsu.edu

Jon Tall graduated from Northwestern State University in 2003 with a B.S. in Psychology. He received his M.A. in Philosophy of Science from LSU in 2006, and a M.A. in Psychology from LSU in 2009. He is now currently working towards a Ph.D. in Cognitive/Developmental Psychology and is beginning his fifth year working with Dr. Mathews. He is primarily interested in studying complex/dynamic decision making. In particular, he is interested in how processing, strategy, and task representation influence knowledge acquired in complex environments. While his earlier research examined knowledge resulting from active participation in the task environment, his more recent research in decision making focuses on learning from more passive exposure to task information. He is also currently working on a number of side projects that range from interruptions and prospective memory to probability learning and emotional biases.



Tanya Karam
Tanya Karam




                          Email: tkaram1@lsu.edu

Tanya Karam graduated from University of Waterloo with a B.A. in psychology in 2004. She completed a M.A. in Cognitive and Social Processes under the direction of Dr. Kerri Pickel at Ball State University in 2007. She is beginning her fourth year in the Cognitive/Developmental Ph D. program at Louisiana State University working with Dr. Lane. She has broad interests in basic memory processes including source memory, as well as issues involved in eyewitness memory (including eyewitness identification and suggestibility). Her recent focus concerns how emotion impacts the binding between different aspects of an event in memory.



Patrick Ligenfelter
Patrick Ligenfelter




                     Email: plinge1@tigers.lsu.edu

Patrick Lingenfelter graduated with honors from Nicholls State University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2004. He worked for three years as a Behavioral Shaping Specialist and Individual Program Coordinator for Peltier-Lawless Developmental Center prior to beginning graduate work at Louisiana State University in 2006. He obtained his M.A. in Biological Psychology in 2009, and is currently in the Cognitive/Developmental Ph.D. program working with Dr. Mathews. His prior research has focused on decision-making under ambiguity and risk, particularly among those with potential addiction to technology, specifically video games. He is interested in the influence and impact of technology, both positive and negative, on cognitive ability, decision-making, and executive function. He is currently focusing on dual process decision-making during ambiguous simulation tasks.



Leslie Butler
Leslie Butler




                Email: lbutl12@tigers.lsu.edu

Leslie Butler received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2005, and subsequently worked as a research associate at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Training Systems Division in Orlando, FL. In the summer of 2009 Leslie graduated from Florida Atlantic University with her M.A. in Psychology and entered the Cognitive/Developmental Ph.D. program to work with Dr. Lane the following fall. Leslie's primary research interest is on how emotion can affect memory. More specifically, her research has focused on how binding errors can occur for memories of emotional events. Her goal is to continue conducting research in emotion and memory and apply it to issues relevant to the legal system. Recently, she assisted in the completion of a series of studies investigating the impact of corrective feedback on memory decisions during source monitoring tests. Leslie has also been involved in an ongoing project funded by an NSF research grant designed to examine the qualities of and individual differences in expert teachers.



Kathleen Vieira
Kathleen Vieira




          Email: kvieir1@tigers.lsu.edu

Kathleen Vieira graduated from the University of Florida in 2009 with a B.S. in psychology. She is entering her second year in the Cognitive/Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program working with Dr. Lane. She is interested in both basic and real-world applications of memory research, including areas such as eyewitness memory and memory suggestibility. Her recent work involves the effect of feedback on old/new recognition, and current directions include the impact of lying on memory.



Serena Fisher
Serena Fisher




                Email: sfishe9@lsu.edu

Serena Fisher graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Psychology. She continued her studies at USF, working with Dr. Douglas Nelson while studying human memory and the influence of pre-existing knowledge on the recall and recognition of recently experienced information. This work led to two papers that appeared in Memory & Cognition. After completing her MA in Cognitive Psychology in 2004, she took some time away from academia to work in industry. She returned to school in 2010 to join the Psychology PhD program at Louisiana State University. I am interested in how to apply cognitive principles such as learning, memory, feedback, and motivation to training programs. My goal is to help develop training programs (for schools or businesses) that utilize empirically validated methods of learning and that enhance the development of expertise. Currently, I work on an NSF funded project examining expertise and deliberate practice in secondary education math and science teachers.



AFFILIATED FACULTY

Melissa Beck
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Email: mbeck@lsu.edu

Amy Copeland
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Email: copelan@lsu.edu

Emily Elliott
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Email: eelliott@lsu.edu

Jason Hicks
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Email: jhicks@lsu.edu

Andrea Houston
Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences
College of Business
Email: ahoust2@lsu.edu

Janet McDonald
Professor, Department of Psychology
Email: psmcdo@lsu.edu

Ron Sun
Professor, Cognitive Science Department
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Email: rsun@rpi.edu

Sonja Wiley-Patton
Associate Professor, Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences
College of Business
Email: swpatton@lsu.edu