Lab Members

Lab Director:

Kara D. Federmeier, Ph.D.
kfederme AT

Co-leader for the
Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative,
Department of Psychology,
Program in Neuroscience,
and Beckman Institute for
Advanced Science and Technology

Past President of the Society for Psychophysiological Research

Psychology Webpage
Beckman Webpage

Kara’s CV

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

Kara Federmeier

Post Docs:

Ryan Hubbard
rjhubba2 AT

Ryan is a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois. He 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.

Jakub Szewczyk
jakub.szewczyk AT

Jakub is a post-doctoral fellow funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant. His research focuses on cognitive processes that take place in the brain during language perception. In particular, he uses EEG to study what processes take place during first few hundreds of milliseconds after we read or hear a word embedded in a semantic context. He is interested in what way perception of these words is aided by the prior context. In his current project he uses machine-learning language models to expand our research abilities to naturalistic stories and to obtain indices of information available to comprehenders that is not easy to obtain using traditional behavioral methods.

Jakub Szewczyk
Si On Yoon
syoon10 AT

Si On is a Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research interests include how people use social-pragmatic information in conversation, such as how speakers use audience design depending on partner’s knowledge state and how previously established common ground influences on the current production and comprehension while communicating. She is also interested in how this ability to incorporate social-pragmatic cues during language processing is developed and used in various populations (e.g., children, old adults and amnesic patients) and the role of memory representation that support this language use. Si On received a B.A. in Linguistics and Psychology from Seoul National University in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2016.

Si On Yoon

Graduate Students:

Melinh Lai
melinhl2 AT

Melinh Lai is a first year graduate student studying cognitive psychology at the University of Illinois. She received her BA in linguistics, biology, and cognitive science from Rutgers University and worked as a lab manager of the language processing and development lab at Johns Hopkins University. Melinh is interested in using eyetracking and EEG/ERP techniques to study the time course and mechanisms of predictions in language processing, as well as how these mechanisms change with age.

Melinh Lai
Michelle Leckey
leckey2 AT

Michelle Leckey is a fifth 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
Allison Letkiewicz
letkiew2 AT

Allison completed her undergraduate work at The Catholic University of America in Psychology. As an undergraduate she worked in a Cognitive Aging Lab investigating implicit memory in healthy older adults and young adults, as well as a Psychophysiology Lab using EEG/ERP to investigate executive function. Afterward, she was a Post-baccalaureate IRTA at the NIMH for two years studying the neural mechanisms of fear and anxiety in healthy controls and patients using EMG and fMRI with Dr. Shmuel Lissek and Dr. Christian Grillon. She began her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall of 2011. Her current research interests include exploring the neural mechanisms of anxiety, depression, and their co-occurrence, as well as the interaction between emotion and cognition. In the future she hopes to integrate both basic and applied clinical science research.

Allison Letkiewicz
Cybelle Smith
cmsmit13 AT

Cybelle Smith is a third year student in the cognitive neuroscience division of the psychology department. She uses EEG/ERP and other techniques to investigate how verbal and non-verbal contextual information shapes online language comprehension and memory. How are listeners able to make inferences about the intended meaning of a statement on the basis of real world knowledge? And how does contextual information shape memory for novel concepts? 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 previously participated in the neuroengineering IGERT program at UIUC and is currently an NSF-GRFP fellow.

Cybelle Smith