Cognitive & Brain Science Students

Juan Guevara Pinto

Juan D. Guevara Pinto is a 5th year graduate student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences doctoral program. Broadly speaking, he is interested in studying attention, memory, or a combination of both. Across different studies he has used multiple techniques such as eye-tracking, mouse-tracking, and pupillometry, as well as traditional behavioral measurements (i.e., accuracy and response times), with the goal of understanding what things in our environment we attend to and how we remember them.

Lisa Kemp

 Lisa Kemp is a 5th year Cognitive and Brain Science student supervised by Dr. Janet McDonald in the Psycholinguistics Lab. She received her Master’s degree in Linguistics from California State University, Long Beach and conducts research in the areas of second language vocabulary learning, healthy aging and applied linguistics.

Kacie Mennie

Kacie Mennie received her B.A. from University of Michigan - Dearborn and her M.A. from LSU. She is entering her 6th year of the Cognitive and Brain Sciences program. Broadly, she is interested in how associations are formed in long-term memory, and how emotional arousal impacts these associations. She is also interested in how this type of research can be applied to real-world situations. In her spare time, Kacie enjoys cooking, photography, and walking her dog.

Katherine Moen

Katherine Moen is a 5th year Cognitive and Brain Sciences psychology student in the Beck Visual Cognition Lab. She received her MS in Experimental Psychology from Seton Hall University in 2014. Katherine is interested in the neural mechanisms of forgetting and the interaction between working memory and long-term memory. She is specifically interested in researching these areas with fMRI and eye tracking. Outside of school, Katherine enjoys watching football and reading science fiction.


Samantha Spitler is a 6th year cognitive psychology student working with Dr. Hicks. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology at St. John Fisher College and masters degree in Experimental Psychology at Georgia Regents University. Her research interests include the relationship between emotional events and false memories, recognition and prospective memory. Besides school, she enjoys going to the dog park with her puppy, reading, running, and exploring Baton Rouge/New Orleans.

Corey McGill

Corey McGill is a 6th-year graduate student interested in the topics of working memory, general fluid intelligence, rehearsal, and auditory distraction. He is currently working on research projects examining the cause of the relationship between working memory and general fluid intelligence, as well as re-examining the role of rehearsal in working memory systems. 

Katie Stanko

Katie Stanko is a 5th year student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Program working in Dr. Cherry's lab. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She received both her master’s degree and graduate certificate in Life-Span Studies from LSU in 2017.  She is interested in post-disaster effects on healthy aging and is currently working on a project to examine disaster stress effects on cognition, health and well-being across the adult lifespan in individuals impacted by the historic 2016 flooding in Baton Rouge, LA.

Sunghyun Kim

Sunghyun Kim is a 4th year cognitive and brain science student in Dr. Beck’s lab. He received his master’s degree from Korea University. He is studying how previous search experiences influence establishment of attentional control setting. For example, if your friend always wears a red shirt in a math class but a green shirt in a music class. Then, you would incidentally learn this pattern, so that when you search for your friend, attentional control setting would unconsciously be red in a math class but green in a music class. I love to go to the art gallery with my best friend.

Daniella Cash is a fifth year graduate student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences doctoral program at Louisiana State University. She received her B.S. from Florida Southern College and her M.A. at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is interested in memory and decision-making processes as well as how these areas intersect with the law. Specifically, eyewitness memory and how jurors interpret eyewitness evidence as well as the decision-making processes that jurors may rely on when providing verdict decisions. In her free time, she enjoys spoiling her rabbit and teaching him to perform tricks.

Laura Heisick is a 5th year graduate student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences doctoral program. She is broadly interested in memory and general cognitive processes, especially the relationship between encoding and retrieval dynamics, general face perception, and physiological indices of memory, such as pupillometry.

Lauryn Burleigh

Lauryn Burleigh is a third year graduate student in Dr. Greening's Cognitive Neuroscience of Affect and Psychopathology (CNAPs) Lab. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Orleans in 2015. Lauryn conducts studies utilizing the fMRI at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, researching the neural mechanisms of emotion and cognition. She is currently studying fear in imagination and is more broadly interested in the processing of emotions in anxiety and depression. Outside of school, Lauryn likes to go hiking with her dog, Roxy, and do yoga at Yoga Rouge!

Tyler Robinson

Alan Harrison

Stephanie Saltzmann

Stephanie Saltzmann is a second year graduate student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences program in the Beck Visual Cognition Lab. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Louisiana State University. Her research interests include visual memory and attention with a specific interest in eye movements. Outside of school, Stephanie enjoys reading comic books, cycling, and watching movies.

Brianna Cairney

Brianna Cairney is a first-year graduate student working with Dr. Heather Lucas. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington and spent three years working in an autism research lab, conducting EEG/ERP and Eye Tracking experiments with children on the spectrum or who have an associated genetic event. She is broadly interested in identifying neural processes that relate to or influence learning and memory while continuing to use EEG/ERP and Eye Tracking methodologies. 

Felicia Chaisson

Jessica Hacker

Jessica Hacker received her B.S. in psychology and M.S. in research psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga before joining the Cognitive and Brain Sciences doctoral program at LSU in the fall of 2018. Her research interests include prospective memory, attention, metacognition, and the interaction between top-down and bottom-up cognitive processing. Jessica will be working in the Eye Movements, Memory, and Attention (EMMA) lab under the supervision of Dr. Megan Papesh.

Xinrui Jiang

Xinrui Jiang is a 2nd year graduate student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences program in Dr. Greening's Cognitive Neuroscience of Affect and Psychopathology (CNAPs) Lab. She received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from a dual degree program at Colorado State University and East China Normal University. Her Master’s degree is from the Clinical Psychology program at Louisiana State University. Her research interests lie primarily in the neurological basis of social and affective processes and how they can go weary in psychopathology. 

Commitment to Diversity

We encourage applications from individuals with diverse racial, ethnic, and/or cultural backgrounds. Baton Rouge is a racially diverse city and our work in the greater Baton Rouge community allows us to provide clinical services to and conduct research with racially diverse individuals in our community. We take great pride in this diversity. Furthermore, our program is deeply committed to fostering a learning environment that supports cultural and individual differences and diversity. Additionally, “Diversity is fundamental to LSU's mission and the University is committed to creating and maintaining a living and learning environment that embraces individual difference. Cultural inclusion is of highest priority” (see entire LSU Diversity Statement).