Mission and Values


The Cognitive Psychology Program was established in 1989, making it the most recently added program to the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. Cognitive psychology is the scientific study of the mental processes underlying behavior, a broad research area encompassing the study of attention, perception, memory, language, reasoning, and problem-solving. Our faculty conduct studies by behavioral experimentation with humans, neuroimaging technologies, including fMRI and ERP, to correlate neural processing with cognitive function, and experimentation with special neurological populations, whose cognitive deficits can inform our understanding of the effects of brain damage on normal cognition.

Our faculty pursue interdisciplinary research and have forged strong connections with other units on campus, in the community, nationally, and internationally, including the Harvard University Program in Neuroscience, Duke University Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California Davis Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Rome Department of Medicine and Psychology, UNC Departments of Linguistics, Psychiatry, Neurobiology, Audiology, Biology, Philosophy, Computer Science, Radiology, the Institute on Aging, and the Biomedical Research Imaging Center.

The graduate program is designed for students desiring a rigorous research-oriented education in preparation for research and teaching careers in basic and applied areas of cognitive psychology. Because numerous faculty members throughout the Department are engaged in cognitive psychology research and teaching, our Cognitive Psychology Program has close ties with other doctoral programs, allowing students to obtain specialized training in areas such as cognitive neuroscience, cognitive aging, perception, and psycholinguistics.