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Faculty Advising

Advising Faculty

Faculty advisors are faculty in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology based on faculty research and teaching interests. Although all tracks are interdisciplinary, each has a particularly heavy concentration of courses in one of the sponsoring units, and advisors for a given track are primarily selected from that unit. 

After declaring the major, students will meet with their track faculty advisor for detailed discussions about their undergraduate preparation, graduate school, and research opportunities (including post-graduate training opportunities).

To schedule an appointment with a faculty advisor please email the following:

Faculty Advisors from Left to Right:
Priti Shah, Sam Epstein, and Chandra Sripada
(not pictured) Thad Polk

Track Faculty Advisor Email
Computation and Cognition Thad Polk tpolk@umich.edu
Decision and Cognition Priti Shah priti@umich.edu
Language and Cognition Samuel D. Epstein sepstein@umich.edu
Philosophy and Cogition Chandra Sripada sripida@umich.edu

Computation and Cognition - Thad Polk

Thad Polk

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology

Email: tpolk@umich.edu


The goal of our research in the Computational & Cognitive Neuroscience Lab is to understand the neural architecture that underlies cognition, that is, the set of (relatively) fixed neural structures and processes that give rise to cognition. What are the parts, how do they work, and how do they interact to produce the mind? Ultimately, we would like to understand how the cognitive architecture is determined (e.g., which aspects are genetic), how the architecture changes as a result of experience and normal aging, and how it normally functions (in sufficient detail that we can implement it computationally). To that end, we have adopted a multidisciplinary approach that combines neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral experimentation to make progress on these questions both theoretically and empirically.

Decision and Cognition - Priti Shah

Priti Shah

Professor of Psychology

Email: priti@umich.edu


The human brain is capable of impressive feats such as storing millions of memories, effortlessly processing complex visual scenes, and seamlessly integrating perception, thought, and action. At the same time, performance on many complex cognitive activities is highly limited. Individuals make well-known errors in scientific reasoning and decision making, have trouble comprehending difficult texts and diagrams, and can only store about 3-4 simple items in short-term memory. As a cognitive scientist, my primary goal is to understand the nature of limitations in the performance of complex cognitive tasks and ultimately how these limitations may be overcome. I focus primarily on tasks relevant to school and other everyday contexts. My research has two foci. In one line of research, I study scientific reasoning, and, primarily, the interpretation and critical evaluation of scientific data. My second line of research focuses on understanding working memory and executive functions, basic mechanisms that support complex cognition, and the degree to which they can be improved. My research has been published in dozens of journal articles and book chapters. I have received support for my research from several federal agencies and private foundations including the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Education's Institute for Educational Sciences. I am a Professor of Psychology (cognition and cognitive neuroscience) and a member of the Combined Program in Education and Psychology.

 

Language and Cognition - Samuel D. Epstein

Samuel D. Epstein

Marilyn J. Shatz Collegiate Professor of Linguistics; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Director, Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science

Email: sepstein@umich.edu
 

I am a Professor in the Linguistics Department and my primary specialization is in generative syntactic theory. I regard Linguistics--the study of all aspects of human knowledge and use of language--as a branch of Cognitive Science. I have also conducted related cognitive research in Philosophy of Linguistics and have co-conducted experimental research in child language-knowledge acquisition, adult second language knowledge acquisition, and psycholinguistics/syntactic parsing regarding human real time use of syntactic knowledge (and other knowledge systems) during speech or reading comprehension (with Professor Rick Lewis, U-M, Psychology Department). I have co-taught COG SCI 200 with Prof. Lewis.

Philosophy and Cognition- Chandra Sripada

Chandra Sripada

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy

Email: sripada@umich.edu

 

I am interested a broad range of issues in cognitive science. I am joint appointed in the University in both Psychiatry and Philosophy, and I approach cognitive science from both a scientific as well as a philosophical perspective. In terms of my scientific interests, my main area of study is self-control. People can regulate their own thoughts, habits, emotions, and motives. I study the psychological and neural mechanisms that make regulation possible, and the ways these mechanisms break down in psychiatric disorders. As a philosopher, I am interested in very general questions about the mind, brain, and explanations of behavior. Topics of special interest include free will and moral responsibility, the role of intuitive processes in rationality, and the cognitive processes involved in ethical decision-making.