OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH INTERESTS
Integrated cognitive systems, computational cognitive modeling, cognitive engineering. Interested in basic and applied research that leads to understanding the interplay of cognition, perception, and action in routine interactive behavior.
These interests entail the understanding of top-down vs bottom-up control of behavior, the role of implicit vs explicit knowledge, internal vs external representations, and knowledge in-the-head vs knowledge in-the-world.
2009 November Addendum
Every website in the world is out of date, including this one. Rather than updating my research interest page today (2009-11-23) I am writing this note instead. The most recent picture of my research interests is contained in the papers (mine and my student's) which are online at the Online Publications tab to your left. I am a bit slow getting the 2009 ones up there and am slower still in updating all of the research interest pages. As of today, my group, the CogWorks Laboratory, has research funding from NASA, ONR, AFOSR, and the Army Research Laboratory.
The theme to our work is the Cognitive Science of Natural Interaction with a focus on the integration of perception, motor, and cognitive operations at the 1/3 to 3 s timescale. This work has focused on human-technology, human-information, and (most recently) human-human interactions. We see the human-human interactions as part of what my colleague Ron Sun refers to as Cognitive Social Science; namely, an approach to traditional social psychology type questions that is rooted in cognitive science theory, modeling approaches, and methodologies. Recent work in human-technology interaction includes the study of fast-paced action games. In our premier gaming project we have collected EEG, eye data, and behavioral data from players over 31 hrs of play (per player), and are building computational cognitive models of expert game play as a means to understanding the control problems posed by the interleaving of goal-directed, cognitive, perceptual, and motor processes in real-time interactive behavior. We are also building models of airline pilots who get lost or confused while taxingly on the ground from the runway to the gate. Oh, we are also intent on solving the cognitive control of multitasking, interruptions, errors, and other common human behaviors which turn out to be incredibly hard to understand well enough to model. We plan to be at this for a long, long time. & yes. I do plan on taking new graduate students next fall. Looking with people with good computer science and mathematics skills and an intense interest in cognitive science! –Wayne–
Favorite Research Related Quotes
"Psychology has arrived at the point of unified theories of cognition--theories that gain their power by positing a single system of mechanisms that operate together to produce the full range of human cognition. I do not say they are here. But they are within reach and we should strive to attain them." Newell, A. (1990). Unified theories of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
“There is nothing so useful as a good theory.” Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York: Harper Row.
“Nothing drives basic science better than a good applied problem.” Newell, A., & Card, S. K. (1985). The prospects for psychological science in human-computer interaction. Human-Computer Interaction, 1(3), 209-242.
My research interests can be classifed into topics, domains, or methods. Topics are basic cognitive science issues such as human error, serial attention, cognitive workload, and interactive behavior. In my work on these topics I distinguish between basic versus applied research. When the topic is studied in the context of a simple laboratory experiment the work is basic research. When it is studied in the context of a real-world domain, the work is applied research. Domains that I have studied include the submarine Approach Officers' attempts to locate enemy submarines hiding in deep water, telephone operators, Lisp programmers, usability, and human-computer interaction.Whether it is basic or applied, different topics require the use of different research methods. Methods that I have used include GOMS, ACT-R, ACT-R/PM, action protocol analysis, verbal protocol analysis, and simulated task environments.
Topics, domains, and methods are obviously intertwined. Below I have tried to put together some pointers to parts of my work that are relevant to each. (However, for something that approaches a coherent world-view see my Research Statement.)
- The nature, detection, and correction of human error
- Serial attention
- Cognitive workload
- Interactive behavior
- Applying schema theory and long-term working memory theory to modeling
- Cognitive vs perceptual-motor tradeoffs in interactive behavior (cognitive least-effort, Rational Analysis)