People


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Principal Investigator

Dr. Priti Shah

As a cognitive and educational psychologist, my primary goal is to understand how to overcome limitations in the performance of complex cognitive tasks. In particular, I investigate cognitive tasks that require managing multiple goals, integrating different sources of information, and forming coherent, memorable representations. My research has two foci. In one line of research, I have examined the comprehension of visual displays used in a wide variety of contexts, including elementary science and math education and scientific research. My second line of research focuses on understanding two basic mechanisms that support complex cognition, working memory and executive functions, and the degree to which they can be improved.


Research Staff

Catherine Lawton


Research Scientists

Audrey Michal is a cognitive psychologist with experience studying topics related to cognitive neuroscience, data visualization, and scientific reasoning. In her current line of research she investigates the best way to teach middle and high school students scientific reasoning skills.
Check out Audrey’s personal website here


Graduate Students

Xin Sun is a doctoral student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology program. She also works in the Language and Literacy Lab with Dr. Ioulia Kovelman. She is interested in finding ways to improve students’ learning as well as teachers’ teaching, and cross-cultural studies in education and psychology.

Madison Fansher is a second year PhD student in the cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience program. Her research examines how internal and external representations guide problem solving and applications of cognitive psychology to education. She is especially interested in the role technology plays in learning.


Graduate Student Collaborators

Tessa Abagis is a doctoral student in the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program. She works with Drs. John Jonides and Priti Shah on research related to attention, cognitive training, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and ADHD. See Tessa’s recent blog post on hyperfocus here

Han Zhang is a doctoral student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology. He currently studies topics related to mind wandering, attention, and ADHD. He works with Drs. Kevin Miller, Kai Cortina, and John Jonides and collaborates with us on several projects. Visit Han’s personal website here

Lillie Moffat is a doctoral student in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology working with Drs. Fred Morrison and Christina Weiland. She currently collaborates with the BAAC lab on a study of delay of gratification of preschoolers, and provides consulting on classroom measures of attention.


Current Undergraduate Students

  • Kendell Lewis
  • Lily Johnston
  • Ashley Bond
  • Samuel Adams
  • June Liu
  • Farizah Rob
  • Steve Gonzalez

Current and Former University of Michigan Collaborators


Current and Former Collaborators from Other Institutions


Former PhD Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Alex Caple, Providence Collect
  • Amira Ibrahim, Assistant Professor, CSUCI
  • Kathleen Hupfeld
  • Benjamin Katz, Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech
  • Zuowei Wang, Research Scientist, ETS
  • Rebecca Rhodes, Behavioral Scientist, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab
  • Ronit Greenberg, CRLT, University of Michigan
  • Martin Buschkuel, Mind Research Institute
  • Susanne Jaeggi, UC Irvine
  • Shaylene Nancekivell, UNC Greensboro

Former Undergraduate and Masters Students

  • Melissa Durante, Honors student
  • Azeem Sajjad, Research Assistant
  • Maxwell Lewis, Research Assistant
  • Jeffrey Moher (currently Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College)
  • Annalyn Ng, Honor’s Student
  • Alexandria Wiliams, Honor’s student
  • Rebecca Atkinson, Honor’s student
  • Atasi Satpathy, Honor’s student
  • Mohammad Rahman, Research Assistant
  • Ulrike Biangardi
  • Johanna Bromberg
  • Emily Kaplan, Research Assistant
  • Gillian Graifman, Research Assistant
  • please send me a bio and photo if you’d like to be included on this page– I’d love to list you!