December 7, 2020
Cognitive Science Seminar Series: "Cognitive Tools for Learning and Communication"
Dr. Judith Fan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, UC San Diego
How does the human mind transform a cascade of sensory information into meaningful knowledge? While traditional approaches to learning focus on how people process the data provided to them by the world, this approach leaves aside all of the powerful tools people have to actively reformat their experiences and generate new ones. For example, we choose what to look at, bring certain memories to mind, produce pictures to share, and compose stories to tell. The goal of our lab’s research is to “reverse engineer” the core mechanisms by which employing such cognitive tools enable humans to learn and communicate more effectively. Our recent work focuses on visual communication, one of our most basic and versatile tools, because it also represents a key challenge for understanding how multiple cognitive systems interact to support complex, natural behaviors. This talk will highlight our recent progress, as well as open research questions in this domain.