Lab Members

Lab Director:

Kara D. Federmeier, Ph.D.
kfederme AT

Emanuel Donchin Professorial Scholar
Department of Psychology,

Program in Neuroscience,
and Beckman Institute for
Advanced Science and Technology

Psychology Webpage
Beckman Webpage

Kara’s CV

Interview with the Society for Psychophysiological Research
Interview with the Cognitive Science Department, UCSD

Kara Federmeier, professor of psychology

Post Doc:

Heather Lucas
hdlucas AT

Heather Lucas is a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research interests are in the neural systems that give rise to different expressions of memory, the changes that these systems undergo with age, and the ability to differentiate between normal and very mild pathological forms of cognitive aging. She is also interested in the effects of aging on language processing and in ways that age-related changes to language may impact memory. Heather received a PhD in Psychology from Northwestern University in 2012. She also holds a B.A. from Duke University (2005) with majors in Psychology and English and a minor in Computer Science.

Heather Lucas

Graduate Students:

Danielle Dickson
ddicksn2 AT

Danielle Dickson is a fourth-year graduate student in the cognitive neuroscience division of the psychology department. She uses event-related potentials and fMRI to investigate hemispheric differences in how words, strings of letters, and even math equations are processed by the brain. How does the joint cooperation of the left and right hemispheres allow us to flexibly and rapidly manage incoming information? What aspects of processing do the hemispheres share in common and when do they diverge in their treatment of new information? Danielle received a B.A. in linguistics and a B.S. in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to graduate school she worked at UCSD as a research associate in the behavioral neurosciences studying rodent vision. She received support and is an affiliate of the National Science Foundation’s Neuroengineering IGERT program at UIUC.


Kristin Divis
divis1 AT

Kristin Divis is a fourth-year graduate student in the cognitive division of the psychology department. She received her M.A. in cognitive psychology from the University of Illinois in 2012 and her B.A. in psychology from the University of Nebraska in 2010. Her research uses event-related potentials, eye tracking, and other behavioral measures to study a range of topics with an emphasis on human memory and vision. For example, she’s examined how different types of retrieval (e.g., semantic) influence memory for prior and future material, metacognitive awareness of criterion placement, and real world visual search.


Ryan Hubbard
rjhubba2 AT

Ryan Hubbard is a 3rd year graduate student in the Cognitive Neuroscience division of Psychology. He received a B.S. in Psychology (minor in Neuroscience) from the University of California, Davis. Ryan is interested in the relationship between aspects of language (e.g. semantics, contextual information) and memory, and how this overlap manifests in the brain. He is also interested in applying machine learning and multivariate analysis techniques (e.g. classification) to neuroimaging data. Ryan has received support from the Neuroengineering IGERT Program at UIUC.

Ryan Hubbard

Manoj Kumar
mkumar9 AT

Manoj’s research interests focus on the interaction between semantics and visual perception and how they inform each other. He is a graduate student in the Neuroscience Program and is also advised by Dr. Diane Beck. His research uses Event Related Potentials, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging along with multi-voxel pattern analysis, and analysis techniques borrowed from computer vision. Prior to graduate school, he was working in the Information Technology industry and has had extensive experience in executive leadership as well as software developer positions. He has a M.S. in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University and a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (now IIT-BHU).

Manoj Kuman

Michelle Leckey
leckey2 AT

Michelle Leckey is a first year in the Cognitive Neuroscience division within the Psychology Department. She received a BSc in Biological Sciences from Lancaster University and a BSc in Psychology from The Queens University Belfast. Michelle uses ERP’s to investigate the ways in which language processing changes over the lifespan, and is also interested in the biological factors that underlie individual differences in comprehension.

Michelle Leckey

Cybelle Smith
cmsmit13 AT

Cybelle Smith is a first year student in the cognitive neuroscience division of the psychology department. She uses EEG/ERP and other techniques to investigate neuropragmatics and the link between language and mental imagery. How are listeners able to make inferences about the intended meaning of a statement on the basis of real world knowledge? She received a B.A. in linguistics from Stanford University, and has worked as a lab manager at the cognitive neuroscience of language laboratory at University of Maryland. She is currently a fellow in the neuroengineering IGERT program at UIUC.

Cybelle Smith

Mallory Stites
stites2 AT

Mallory Stites is a fourth-year graduate student in the cognitive division of the psychology department. She works primarily with Kara Federmeier, using event-related potentials and eye-tracking to investigate the comprehension processes involved in reading. She studies a range of topics, including how young and older adults resolve the lexical ambiguity associated with noun/verb homographs (i.e. park), how visual word recognition is disrupted by misspellings, and the perceptual simulation of voice-related representations when reading dialogues. She received her M.A. in psychology from Illinois in 2011, has received a Beckman Predoctoral Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.


Lab Manager:

Katie Mimnaugh
cablab.subjects AT

Katie has been involved in research at the University of Illinois since 2006. She has conducted research with adults of all ages in the areas of neuroscience, social cognition, human perception and genetics. She received her B.S. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2008 and has been a research coordinator since that time. Her research interests include neuroimaging, language and executive function.


Lab Alumni:

  • Jeremy Boyd, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California at San Diego
  • Jason Coronel, Ph.D.
    NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Communication Neuroscience Lab, University of Pennsylvania
  • Karen Evans, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Researcher, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Daniel Frost
    Graduate Student, Cognitive Science, University of California at San Diego
  • Caterina Gratton
    Graduate student, Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley
  • Angela Gutchess, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, Brandeis University
  • Deborah Hannula, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Hsu-wen (Danni) Huang, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience, National Yang-Ming University Pei-Tou, Taipei
  • Padmapriya Kandhadai, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
  • Charlotte Laguna
    Graduate Student, Speech and Language Pathology, Northwestern University
  • Sarah Laszlo, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Binghamton University
  • Chia-lin (Charlene) Lee, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Psychology, National Taiwan University
  • Laura Matzen, Ph.D.
    Research Scientist, Sandia National Lab
  • Aaron Meyer, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cognitive Neuropsychology Lab, Georgetown University Medical Center
  • Joel Voss, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Northwestern Medical School
  • Edward Wlotko, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Researcher, Tufts University