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 third-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

Research Professional

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).


PhD Students

Letitia (Letty) HoExpand Icon

PhD Student

Email


I'm a first-year PhD student in psychology at the University of Chicago. I am interested in studying predictive coding and computational models of speech comprehension and production. This summer, I went to culinary school in Shanghai, took a train to Tibet, and went camping near the redwood forests in California.

Katie ReisExpand Icon

PhD Student

Email


I am a 1st-year PhD student 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.

John VeilletteExpand Icon

PhD Student

Email


I'm a doctoral student in the Integrative Neuroscience program. I'm interested in the bidirectional relationship between the neural mechanisms of sensorimotor control and higher level mental functions.


Master's Students

Joshua ChonExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email


I am a MAPSS 2019-2020 student studying psychology at the University of Chicago. My primary interests lie in the study of perception and judgement making processes. Outside of research, I enjoy playing the piano and creative writing.

Sijia GuanExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email


I am a psychology-concentrated MAPSS student at UChicago, and my research interests mostly fall within cognitive neuroscience. I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri with a BS degree in psychology minoring in biology, and a BJ degree in advertising. Before coming to UChicago, I was an art intern at Edelman Beijing, where I did the UX/UI design for HP Zbook Wechat Community with one of their in-house art directors and created graphics and PowerPoint slide decks for multiple clients including HP, Heineken, Airbnb, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, etc.

Jiaxuan (Sherry) LiExpand Icon

MACSS Student

Email


I am a first-year MACSS student at UChicago, concentrating on psychology. I plan to pursue my PhD in psychology or linguistics. My interests include onlince language processing and language acquisition. Specifically, I am concerned with how people use contextual information to anticipate upcoming linguistic inputs. My research incorporates behavioral, eletrophysiological as well as computational methods.

Kejing (Mirror) LiExpand Icon

MAPSS Student

Email


I'm a MAPSS student in QMSA/Psychology at the University of Chicago. I study the cognitive process of need-solution pair and how it differs from traditional problem-first thinking. I am an art person but not an artist.

Miaohan (Mia) WangExpand Icon

MACSS Student

Email | CV


I am a first-year MACSS student who's interested in the psychological underpinnings of online communications. My past work concerns the moral contagion effect within online political debates. And my current project focuses on identifying creative individuals from the original content they produced and distributed in online communities. Through my computational coursework, I look to incorporate ML and NLP methods into my future research. I am planning to pursue a PhD degree after my master's study.


Lab Affiliates

Berthold HoecknerExpand Icon

Chair, Department of Music

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.

Tamera SchneiderExpand Icon

Visiting Scholar

Email


Thanks, APEX Lab, for helping me to add EEG methods to my psychophysiological research repertoire! I look forward to our continuing investigations of wisdom and emotional processes as well as our considerations of human-automation contexts.

Fan YangExpand Icon

Research Assistant Professor

Email | Website


I'm a Research Assistant Professor at UChicago. I direct the newly established Human Nature and Potentials Lab, which is part of the Center for Practical Wisdom. I am broadly interested in the cognition and behaviors of moral transcendence, in relation to fundamental life questions such as happiness and meaning. I have two young children (ages 2 & 4) who are always the first participants of my studies.


Research Assistants

Najee AhmadExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I am a third-year in the College studying both psychology and music. I am interested in the way we process musical stimuli as well as how our emotional state is affected through listening. Outside of the lab, I love to create music and exercise.

Jean BoulwareExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I’m a post-master's 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 third-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!

Nikita KumarExpand Icon

HS Volunteer

Email


I am a senior 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 high school 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 recent grad of 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 fourth-year undergraduate pursuing the pre-medical track and majoring in psychology. After graduating, I plan to pursue an MD. I am really interested in investigating embodied cognition theory, which explores how the body influences cognition and vice versa, as well as the way in which natural versus urban spaces influence working memory and attention. Outside of the lab, I can be found volunteering UChicago Medicine's adult emergency room and ICU, Trott Business Program, or spending time with friends and family.

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!

Max ZvyaginExpand Icon

Research Assistant

Email


I’m a 4th year in the College, getting my bachelor’s in neuroscience and my master’s in computer science. I’m planning on pursuing a PhD after graduating this spring, hopefully working on neural prosthetics someday. Outside of the lab, I can be found playing guitar and making coffee at Hallowed Grounds.


Lab Alumni

Anand Jain

Research Assistant ('19)

Email

Chi-Dat (Daniel) Lam

PhD Student

Email

Maddie Kingan

Research Assistant ('19)

Email

Jinghan Wan

MAPSS Student ('19)

Email

Shun Zhou

MAPSS Student ('19)

Email

Gus Benson

HS Volunteer ('19)


Robin Bergstrom

Behavioral Research Fellow (MBA '19)

Email

Kellie Lu

Research Assistant ('19)

Email

Xinyu (Sylvia) Wei

Research Assistant ('19)

Email

Pablo Lopez Trujillo

Research Assistant ('19)

Email

Pantelis Solomides

MAPSS Student ('19)

Email

Blakely Winstead

MBA Grad Student ('19) | Analytical Lead (Microsoft)

Email

Scott Danielson

Research Assistant ('19) | PhD Student, University of Canterbury (Christchurch, NZ)

Email

Thomas Dudey

MAPSS Student ('19) | Research Program Coordinator, School of Medicine (Johns Hopkins University)

Email

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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