Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Current Areas of Research:
Parsing, the process of assigning a structural description to an input, is believed to be an important component in human language comprehension. The goal of my research is to learn about the nature of the human language parser and the comprehension process, by studying how syntactic ambiguity affects comprehension. Another study focuses on the relationship between the listener's dialect and the perception of speech sounds. This project is designed to unravel the mystery of how phonological rules, normally associated with production, can affect speech perception.
Current studies focus on implicit memory for repeated auditory and visual stimuli, the nature of implicit versus explicit perceptual learning, and the differences between males and females in math problem solving and mental rotation. Implicit memory. We present spoken and handwritten words to our experimental participants, whose task is to identify the stimuli under degraded listening or viewing conditions. Participants' accuracy on repeated stimuli is an indicator of their implicit memory.
Implicit and explicit learning. Perceptual categories can be learned explicitly, through hypothesis generation and testing, or implicitly, as a byproduct of performing another task. We ask students to engage in these two forms of learning and then measure the differences and similarities in what is learned.
Gender differences. High school and college students solve arithmetic, algebra, and geometry problems on a computer. Participants also make judgments about stationary and rotating objects displayed on a monitor. Past studies have shown that males and females perform differently on these tasks.