Archive for the ‘Research Related’ Category


go science!

September 3, 2010

Yesterday was the 2010 Summer Science Research Symposium. I was quite proud of both Amy Milewski (’11) and Avi Baranes (’11) as they talked about their summer research projects with finesse and aplomb. Nice work. The entire session was an impressive display of the commitment to research across the sciences here at Denison.

Amy Milewski – supported by a DURF grant

“The effects of use-relevant information and diagnosticity on conceptual organization”

Avi Baranes – supported by the Laurie Bukovac Hodgson and David Hodgson Endowed Fund

“Affect, working memory, and decision making: A look at the somatic marker hypothesis”


recent musings…

May 18, 2010

This summer (August, 2010), I’ll be heading to Portland, OR, for the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. It is always a great conference – lots of interesting research to immerse myself in, lots of interesting people to chat with. At this year’s conference, I’ll get a chance to present some research I have been involved in the past few years. This line of research is examining category learning that occurs as people engage in a particular task within a novel domain. I began the line of research three years ago, collaborating with Jessie Birdwhistell – who is currently pursuing a doctorate in school psychology at the University of Kentucky. We have a more complete paper that we are writing together that will (hopefully) be ready for public consumption by the end of the summer – I’ll have new data in soon that should fill in a few gaps we had with our earlier write-ups of the study. Anyhow, here is the proceeding for the CogSci conference this summer.

CP CogSci 2010 final version

Here is the first paragraph of the paper in case you are not quite motivated enough to open the pdf version of the paper…

Prior experience underlies intelligent behavior – people learn through interactions with the environment what behaviors lead to successful outcomes and what ones do not. An important component of this is recognizing categories of events and items among those experiences, a process that leads to the acquisition of conceptual knowledge, knowledge of those categories. That knowledge can be used to categorize, communicate, reason, and problem solve at later points. A fundamental question then is how coherent categories of items are identified so that the conceptual knowledge can be appropriately applied. Theories of categorization address what ties together items within a category and subsequently coheres the conceptual organization that reflects those categories, and most theories rely on a notion of similarity for at least a component of that cohesion (Hahn & Ramscar, 2001). Thus, the question shifts to how this similarity is determined.



May 18, 2010

After a few years of reading, thinking, discussing, drafting, piloting, grimacing, thinking some more, and writing, my collaboration with Alexandra Bradner on the pragmatics of explanation finally sees the light of day… (although we did present some of the findings two years ago at the 28th Annual Cognitive Science Conference (2008) in Washington, DC, see here). The article is forthcoming in the journal Cognitive Processing.

Cool stimuli...

You can check out the abstract and such here