Our Team


Current Members


Principal Investigator

Howard C. NusbaumExpand Icon

Principal Investigator

Email | Website | CV


I am currently the Director of the Chicago Center for Practical Wisdom and having returned from serving as the Division Director for the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences in the Directorate of the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation. My research is on the psychology, neurobiology, and comparative biology of language use, the role of sleep in learning, attention and working memory, and the neurobiology of economic decisions. We study speech perception and music perception as auditory skills, perception as a cognitive system interconnected with other psychological systems, and how wiser decisions arise from experiences supporting an interaction of intellectual virtues such as epistemic humility, reflection, curiosity, and perseverance with moral virtues.


Lab Manager

Yena KimExpand Icon

Lab Manager

Email | Website


I'm a second-year undergraduate studying psychology at UChicago. My current research focuses on the interaction between human auditory processing, language, and emotion perception. But I also collaborate on projects investigating psychological distance and wisdom. Other interests include gift-giving, productive procrastination, and eating too much cake.


Postdocs

Shannon HealdExpand Icon

Postdoc

Email | CV


My work focuses on understanding how our past experiences shape and guide (1) how we perceive the world, (2) how we communicate with others and (3) how we think and behave. As experiences often afford the ability to learn, the process of learning and what impacts it is of interest to me. My research has applications in areas of innovation, creativity, negotiation, marketing, and speech recognition. My work utilizes a wide range of methods from a variety of disciplines such as behavioral research methods, computational modeling, analytic methods of linguistics, and neuroscience methods such as electrophysiology (specifically, electroencephalography or EEG).


Graduate Students

Thomas DudeyExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email | CV


I am a MAPPS 2018-19 student at UChicago, concentrating in psychology. My research interests focus on the allocation of attention across different learning paradigms as well as the mechanisms underlying memory consolidation during sleep. Outside of the lab, I have competed in fencing at all levels and volunteered for the CONTACT crisis and suicide intervention hotlines.

Chi-Dat (Daniel) LamExpand Icon

Grad Student

Email


I'm a second-year PhD student in linguistics at UChicago. I am interested in how languages emerged and evolved, given the evolution of general cognitive functions of the mind and the brain, and how this emergence is convergently related to that of other complex communication systems, such as birdsongs.

Katie ReisExpand Icon

PhD Candidate

Email


I am a fourth-year undergraduate double majoring in psychology and neuroscience. Following graduation, I plan on pursuing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. My research interests include how experience and attention shapes auditory perception. Specifically, my research is based how short-term expectations drive auditory perception as recorded by electrophysiological equipment. Outside the lab, I am a violinist, a baby cuddler at UofC’s hospital, and an Emergency Medical Responder on our school’s EMS unit.

Pantelis SolomidesExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email


I am a MAPSS 2018-19 student, studying psychology at UChicago. My research interests focus on the study of sensation and perception in user experience. I plan to study the effects of narratives as training for promoting practical wisdom. I have an Instagram travel blog documenting my travels through the vantage point of my sneakers (@cruisinconverse), which has now gained the attention of Converse®.

John VeilletteExpand Icon

PhD Candidate

Email


I am a fourth-year undergraduate at UChicago, majoring in psychology, statistics, and economics. I'm interested in the neural and cognitive processes underlying decision making, learning, motivation, and perception.

Jinghan WanExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email


I am a MAPSS student at UChicago, concentrating on psychology. After graduate, I plan to pursue my PhD in psychology and go into research. I am particularly interested in how bilinguals process information.

Shun ZhouExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email


I am a first-year MAPSS student at UChicago, majoring in psychology. My research interest focuses on how context and experience would influence individuals' perception and decision-making. Outside of the research world, I am a volunteer in an online mental health platform in China.


Lab Affiliates

Berthold HoecknerExpand Icon

Associate Professor of Music, UChicago

Email | Website


I am a musicologist, and I have been teaching in the Music Department since 1994. I study Western music since the 1800s, and I recently completed a book on film music and memory. I collaborate on studies related to the perception and understanding of multimedia. I'm also one of the PIs in the Wisdom Project, currently working on epistemic humility.


Research Assistants

Najee AhmadExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a second-year undergraduate at UChicago, majoring in psychology and possibly music as well. I'm interested in a variety of topics but especially empathy, morality development and decision making. In my free time, I like to run and make my own music.

Gus BensonExpand Icon

HS Volunteer

Email


I am a high school senior at Charlotte Country Day School, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am interested in how cognitive styles and beliefs affect language perception, and I am remotely collaborating with the lab from home by investigating perceptions of southern speakers. In my free time, I play guitar in an alternative band, build farming robots, and make kombucha.

Robin BergstromExpand Icon

Behavioral Research Fellow (MBA '19)

Email


I am an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in organizational behavior and entrepreneurship. I am interested in the social and environmental factors that promote effective insight problem-solving.

Jean BoulwareExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I’m a post-masters researcher in the lab. I’m interested in understanding how reflective practices and mindfulness might be skills to develop wise decision-making and wisdom. Aside from research, I fill a role in communications for the Center for Practical Wisdom. In my spare time, I focus my energy on reading science fiction and producing short films!

Michelle ChoExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I'm a second year undergraduate pre-medical student majoring in Neuroscience and Biology at UChicago. I am interested in the intersection between neuroscience and psychology in which neural processes can be connected to clear behavioral outcomes. In the lab, I am studying how sleep affects performance on synthetic speech learning tasks. Outside of the lab, I enjoy swimming and painting!

Scott DanielsonExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email | CV


I completed my masters in social science through the MAPSS program at UChicago, where I studied the role of evidence in judgments of moral violations by omission. At the Center for Practical Wisdom, I am involved with projects investigating how deliberating about one’s preferences for art or music can affect the choices we make in these domains. I hope to pursue a PhD in the field of moral judgment and ideology to study the sort of things that underlie our judgments of moral wrongdoing.

Anand JainExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a second-year computer science student at UChicago, and I'm interested in machine learning, robotics, and neuroscience. I would like to find out how we are able to identify human voice so well even when the source is very distorted and manipulated.

Maddie KinganExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a second-year undergraduate at UChicago, majoring in statistics and psychology. I am particularly interested in the social influences that impact decision making and learning processes. After graduation, I plan to pursue a career in education policy or research.

Nikita KumarExpand Icon

HS Volunteer

Email


I am currently a junior at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School, or Lab School for short. My interests lie in cognitive psychology and cognitive science in general. Currently, I am working on how we process natural versus synthetic auditory stimuli differently. When I am not in the lab or at school, I can be found relaxing with a good book or spending time with friends.

Marisa McGeheeExpand Icon

HS Volunteer

Email


I'm a rising senior at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. I am interested in pursuing cognitive science in college, but as for right now, I am excited to explore the extent of the field within the lab and figure out what I want to pursue.

Greg PoljicakExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email | Website


I am a post-masters researcher in the lab. I am interested in understanding physical risk behavior; changes in perception under high physical stress; and physiological factors behind high performance athletes and artists. Aside from research, I perform stunts for movies and television, which explains my fascination with risk. I also own a company that makes fake blood for theater and television.

Hilly SteinmetzExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a fourth-year undergraduate in the College, majoring in linguistics. I am fascinated by all things linguistics, but at the moment, I am particularly interested in meaning, whether is be conveyed at the societal level (as in dialects) or at the interpersonal level (such as the semantics and pragmatics of conversation). Outside of the lab, I can be found discussing philosophy and religion with my friends or reading about obscure languages on Wikipedia.

Antonia TheodosakisExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a third-year undergraduate pursuing the pre-medical track and majoring in psychology. After graduating, I plan to pursue an MD in emergency medicine. I am really interested in investigating embodied cognition theory, which explores how the body influences cognition and vice versa. Outside of the lab, I can be found in UChicago Medicine's adult emergency room, making music, or spending time with friends and family.

Pablo Lopez TrujilloExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a fourth-year undergraduate student at UChicago, and I am double majoring in linguistics and neuroscience. After graduating, I hope to go to graduate school and pursue a PhD (not sure in what exactly yet, but something related to psycholinguistics). My research interests are, broadly, in linguistic communication. Specifically, I am interested in first impressions and how our brains choose to interpret vocal information to make judgements about people. Outside the lab, I am a hardcore Pokémon enthusiast and book reader. I also have a passion for music, and I’ve played and performed piano and vocals since I was 6 years old.

Xinyu (Sylvia) WeiExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a fourth-year undergraduate at UChicago, majoring in computational and applied mathematics. After graduation, I plan to pursue my PhD in cognitive neuroscience. I am interested in studying emotion, memory, language and the brain mechanisms that underlie these cognitive functions. I am also interested in studying why food has such a healing effect on people.

Blakely WinsteadExpand Icon

MBA Grad Student

Email


I am a student in the Booth School of Business with economics and strategy concentrations. For the past two quarters, I have been a TA for Booth's Negotiations course. Currently, I am working on a study about how sound impacts the perceived profoundness of various statements. In my free time, I am on a never-ending search to find the best burger in Chicago.

Ashley YuExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a second-year undergrad at the University of Chicago. My current plan is to major in psychology and potentially economics as well! I am very interested in behavioral economics, specifically what mechanisms or forces (internal and external) nudge us in certain directions that eventually dictate consumer behavior. Outside of academics, I love hiking and photographing the outdoors!


Lab Alumni

Xian Li

MAPSS Student ('19) | Research Associate, Boston Attention and Learning Lab (Harvard Medical School)

Email

Kishor Bharadwaj

HS Volunteer ('19)

Email

Joshua Kaplan

Summer RA ('18)

Email

Benjamin Wittenbrink

Summer RA ('18)

Email

Luke Clohisy

Honors Student (‘18) | Master's Student, UChicago Social Service Administration

Email

Stephen Van Hedger

Postdoc (‘18) | Postdoc Fellow, Brain and Mind Institute (University of Western Ontario)

Email | Website

Peter Hu

Grad Student (‘18)

Email

Sophia Uddin

Grad Student (‘18) | MD Student, Pritzker School of Medicine

Email

Alison Trude

Postdoc (‘15) | Data Specialist, Amazon


Patrick Williams

Postdoc (‘15) | Citizen Data Scientist & Analyst, Esri


Tim Brawn

Grad Student (‘14) | Postdoc Associate, Wilson Lab, MIT

Email

Jeremy Skipper

Grad Student (‘07) | Associate Professor of Psychology, University College London

Website

Kimberly Fenn

Grad Student (‘06) | Associate Professor of Psychology, Michigan State University

Website

Alex Francis

Grad Student (‘99) | Associate Professor of Psychology, Purdue University

Website

James Magnuson

Honors Student (‘93) | Professor of Psychology, UConn

Website

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