Our professors lead a variety of vibrant labs that involve students as collaborators and research assistants.

Language and Cognition Lab

The Language and Cognition Research Lab interests focuses on how people use language and memory in day-to-day life. One major area of research looks at how people make use of information about their conversational partners when they are having a conversation, for example, how conversational partners briefly and spontaneously create agreements on what words mean. Another area is how readers learn new information and change their existing beliefs based on what they read in fictional sources. A third investigates how novice writers write and revise. In the lab, we review previous research to design and conduct our own experiments. Contact Mija Van Der Wege for more info.

Meerts Lab

The lab overseen by Sarah Meerts investigates the neural and hormonal factors involved in the expression and development of motivated behaviors.  Specifically, we are working to better understand the role of the brain, hormones and sensory inputs that contribute to the rewarding nature of mating behavior in female rats. We are investigating the interactions between hormones and the brain that occur during puberty in female rats that are necessary for adult social interactions. To examine these questions, we combine behavioral observation and classical conditioning procedures with pharmacological and neuroanatomical techniques.

Perception Lab

Research in the Perception Lab focuses on how people process sensory information about speech (including how auditory and visual information are combined) and how individual differences (in cognitive abilities, personality, etc.) and expectations influence perception. Julia Strand is the faculty investigator overseeing the research in this lab.

Primate Cognition Lab

Julie Neiworth is the primate faculty researcher, entering her 16th year of working with and getting to know the tamarins at Carleton College with, 25 monkeys that have spanned over two generations, 92 undergraduate collaborators, Three NIH grants, totaling $669,700.00, and more than a dozen publications and presentations. Please visit the lab website to find out more about our research, the monkeys, student collaborators, and the possibility of taking a tour.

Respiratory Lab

The broad goals of the lab are to increase knowledge of the etiology, maintenance, and prevention of co-morbidity between anxiety disorders and substance use disorders. Ken Abrams leads a group that tests two models of co-morbidity: one positing that substance dependence promotes anxiety disorders (through biopsychosocial consequences of chronic substance use and repeated withdrawal syndromes), and the other that anxiety disorders promote substance dependence (through self-medication of symptoms). The anxiety disorders on which we have focused are panic disorder and social phobia, and the substances on which we have focused are nicotine and alcohol.