Conceptual Organization, Reasoning, and Education Lab

The CORE Lab explores how people organize and use their knowledge of the world.

About the CORE Lab

Established in 1998, the Conceptual Organization, Reasoning, and Education (CORE) Lab is located in the Psychology Department at Northeastern University. The CORE Lab provides a challenging and supportive environment in which undergraduates, doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers, and Lab Director Professor John Coley collaboratively explore basic questions in cognitive science about how people organize and use their knowledge about the world. 

This lab’s work is framed by the view that humans possess powerful intuitive frameworks arising from an interaction of evolved cognitive structures, personal experience, and culture. These “cognitive construals” provide fast and efficient, but potentially fallible guidelines for dealing with complex information. We are committed to applying cognitive science to domains like education, environmentalism, and social relations, and have built an extensive network of cross-disciplinary collaborations to do so.

Our work has been supported by over $3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, and we are known for providing students from a variety of disciplines, backgrounds, and interests with the opportunity to contribute to cutting edge cognitive science research that matters.

In the CORE Lab, we try to answer questions like:

How do we organize what we know?

How do these processes change with development and experience?

How do we use that organization to make  guesses about what we do not know?

What are the implications of these basic  cognitive processes for real-world issues like education, social relations, and environmental literacy?

News from the CORE Lab

Hello, CORE Lab!

Hey, CORE Lab! I am Leann, the new Lab Manager. I am here on co-op until the end of December. I am a third year Northeastern student studying Environmental & Sustainability Sciences. Some of my...

End of the Semester Celebration

This past Friday, the CORE Lab celebrated the end of the semester with a potluck dinner! Complete with delicious food and lots of laughs, we had a great time together. Thank you to all of our...