Our recent research largely focuses on issues related to the embodied and embedded nature of cognition. Human cognition often involves, as an integral part, the manipulation of the body and/or physical environment. For example, we tilt our head to help us perceive ambiguous images, we gesture to facilitate communication, and we use our smartphones to store and search for information. In all such cases, internal processes (e.g., the transformation of mental representations) are closely coupled to external ones (e.g., the manipulation of the body/physical environment). From this perspective, we are trying to provide a deeper understanding of how we use our body and physical environment to help us think and how this coupling ultimately shapes our thinking.

In addition, we are interested in using research in cognitive science to optimize technology mediated learning (e.g., in massive online courses). This has largely involved trying to understanding mind wandering and comprehension of video based lectures.

We use a range of different methods depending on the nature of the question being asked including basic behavioural methods, desktop and mobile eye tracking, individual differences, and the video based analysis of natural behaviour. We also try to employ stimuli and tasks that range from simple and highly controlled to more complex and naturalistic.

Cognitive offloading

  • Metacognitive basis of cognitive offloading
  • Individual differences in cognitive offloading
  • Influence of cognitive offloading on performance

Attention in lectures

  • Mind wandering in lectures
  • Improving attention via technology
  • Influence of lecturer language on attention and comprehension