Shawn W. Ell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor,

Department of Psychology

Curriculum Vitae

My research program, broadly defined, investigates the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In particular, research in my lab focuses on category learning – that is, the process of establishing a memory trace that improves the efficiency of assigning novel objects to contrast groups. Category learning is a particularly useful focus as it provides a model for investigating many key theoretical issues of general relevance to learning and memory. More specifically, my research program investigates 1) the nature and interaction of multiple learning systems; 2) rule-guided behavior, and 3) the relationship between social stress and cognition. In pursuit of these research topics, I use a number of methodological approaches including traditional cognitive experiments with college-aged and elderly individuals, neurocomputational modeling, psychophysiology, and behavioral research with neuropsychological populations.