Conscious perception during causal and moral reasoning

Moral reasoning: I am honored to join the Neurophilosophy of Free Will project as a winner of the 2020 and 2021 Worldwide Competitions. In this international collaboration, I am studying how conscious and unconscious visual perception impact moral judgements of responsibility. Through behavioral, self-report, and high-temporal-resolution EEG measures, this project characterizes the neurocognitive processes that underly conscious visual perception, deliberate action selection, and concomitant moral judgments of responsibility for those actions.

Causal reasoning: I am currently investigating how people generate counterfactual mental simulations when making causal judgements. I am measuring gaze behaviors while participants first encode a visual event and then later mentally simulate aspects of that event while making a causal judgment. This project thus synergies insights from visual attention and perception, working memory, and mental simulation to advance theories of causal reasoning.

Visual processing during mind wandering

Prospective Memory: I was honored to join the Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy program. Our funded project launched a serious of studies where I’m investigating the relationship between mind wandering (e.g., zoning out), prospective memory (remembering to perform a future task), and moral reasoning (making judgements based on notions of right and wrong). I’m using behavioral and EEG measures to assess the impact of mind wandering on prospective memory and how the folk judge others as responsible for negligent behaviors committed during mind wandering.

Gaze Control: Mind wandering is an attentional state marked by reduced cortical processing of external visual information. I study eye movements associated with mind wandering during scene viewing to better understand how the visual system processes  visual information when attention is focused inward.

Education: In a multi-year, multi-site collaboration with computer scientists, psychologists, and high school teachers, I studied mind wandering in attention-aware cyberlearning technologies. Students completed an artificial intelligence tutor module while we recorded their interactions with the system and tracked their eye movements. We then used these measures to detect mind wandering in real-time and dynamically adjust the learning module to reengage attention when it lapsed.

Visual attention and perception

I study visual perception, attention, and action to better understand how the visual system and sensiomotor abilities coordinate to optimize actions and maintain attentional focus on task goals. I conducted some of this research as a former graduate student in the Visual Cognition Lab at the University of Notre Dame and as  a former lab manager in the OPTI Lab at Duke University.