The Department of Psychology at the University of Tennessee is inviting applications from students interested in pursuing a PhD in Experimental Psychology (Cognitive and Developmental Science). The Cognitive and Developmental Science area is composed of six active research labs that conduct basic research on human cognition and development during infancy, early childhood, and adulthood. In addition, the area is home to the Child Development Research Group (CDRG; cdrg.utk.edu/). The Cognitive and Developmental Science area is dedicated to enhancing our current knowledge of cognitive and developmental processes, we encourage the cross-fertilization of ideas, theories, and methodologies for faculty and graduate students alike.
Candidates should hold a Bachelors or Masters in Psychology, Neuroscience, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, or related field. Candidates with previous research experience, knowledge of cognition and/or child development, computer programming and/or statistical analyses are especially encouraged to apply. Our department is committed to diversity and inclusion. Thus, we especially welcome applicants from diverse and under-represented populations. For more information, visit the Department of Psychology website at: psychology.utk.edu or apply today at gradschool.utk.edu/admissions/applying-to-graduate-school/.
The application deadline is December 1, 2019.
Attention, Brain, and Cognition (ABC) Lab (abclabutk.weebly.com), directed by Dr. Aaron T. Buss (), studies executive function in early childhood and adulthood. The ABC lab has three functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) machines and a state-of-the-art research suite that features integrated motion-tracking, eye-tracking, and fNIRS. Students also have the opportunity to conduct functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research and neurocomputational modeling using dynamic field theory. The lab is currently funded by NIH and has research projects examining flexible rule-use, action selection, and dimensional attention.
Infant Perception-Action Lab (IPAL) (ipal.utk.edu/), directed by Dr. Daniela Corbetta () investigates the perceptual-motor development of infants in their first year of life. The IPAL lab uses eye-tracking, motion analysis, and behavioral analysis to understand the perceptual, cognitive, attentional, and embodied reorganizational processes underlying the formation of actions. Currently the lab examines the role of visual attention in the development of reaching, how patterns of spontaneous movement exploration (manual and locomotor) contribute to the formation of goal-directed movements.
Infant Language and Perceptual Learning Lab (infantlanguagelab.utk.edu/), directed by Dr. Jessica F. Hay (), studies language acquisition, speech perception, and statistical learning. We test both infants and adults using behavioral methodologies (habituation, preferential looking, eye-tracking) to discover how perception and experience impact language learning. We have an ongoing 5-year grant from the NIH – Infant statistical learning: Resilience, longevity, and specificity. Applicants from historically under-represented populations may be eligible for additional funding through an NIH Diversity Supplement.
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (DCN) Lab (dcnlab.utk.edu/), directed by Dr. Greg D. Reynolds (<>), is currently conducting research on: brain-behavior relations in infancy, infant visual attention and recognition memory, the development of categorization, intersensory processing of audiovisual speech in infancy, and infant face processing. Behavioral, psychophysiological (heart rate, EOG, eye-tracking), and neural (event-related potentials, cortical source analysis) measures are integrated across studies under a developmental systems theory framework. The lab is currently funded by NSF.
Infant Visual Cognition (IVC) Lab (ivclab.utk.edu/), directed by Dr. Shannon Ross-Sheehy () explores visual cognitive development in both typically developing, and at-risk infants. Particular areas of interest include visual attention, visual working memory, and perceptual development, and most studies include a combination of eye tracking and behavioral techniques. We are especially interested in the way infants use their eyes to learn about the world, and how these unique eye movement patterns predict later cognitive development.
Visual Perception an Cognition (VPC) Lab (vpclab.weebly.com/), directed by Dr. Caglar Tas (<>), studies various aspects of visual cognition in healthy adults. We use eye tracking, neural (fNIRS), and behavioral measures to investigate the mechanisms underlying transsaccadic perception and memory, visual attention, visual working memory, and visual updating.