Core Lab Team

CORE Lab Team

Dr. John D. Coley

Dr. John D. Coley

Lab Director | Principal Investigator

Dr. Coley is Associate Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University, and Director of the CORE Lab. He is interested in the basic cognitive processes underlying how people organize and use their knowledge of the world, how those processes develop and change over time, and how differences in culture and experience lead to differences in the organization and use of knowledge. He is also committed to cross-disciplinary translational research, and to exploring the concrete consequences of conceptual organization and reasoning in areas like science education, social conflict, and ecological awareness. Dr. Coley sees his lab as an environment in which smart, motivated, people have the opportunity to work together while learning about research, exploring these issues in lots of different ways, making genuine contributions to cognitive science, and having fun along the way.

Catie Nielson

Catie Nielson

Doctoral Candidate, 5th year

Catie is a 5th year doctoral student focusing on human-centered thinking and science learning. In particular, she is interested in how our intuitive ideas about humans color the way that we learn about and care for the more-than-human world. She is also fascinated by how our human-centric biases impact how we think about neuroscience and the relationship between mind and brain across species. Catie has a passion for teaching, mentoring over 70 undergraduate research assistants over the past 4+ years and teaching research methods courses for two summers. She joined the CORE lab in 2020, after completing her Master’s at Northeastern studying emotion and physiology, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Brigham Young University. In the near future, Catie plans to pursue a postdoctoral position that allows her to continue her research on human-centered biases in neuroscience and environmental thinking and to grow her experience teaching and mentoring.

Favorite Secondary Character: Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)

Emma Pitt

Emma Pitt

Doctoral Candidate, 2nd year

Emma is a second-year doctoral student in the CORE lab. Her research interests broadly include the ways that people conceptualize and interact with social groups, and the factors that shape social reasoning. She is also interested in how humans relate to the world around them, including how humans relate to nature and non-human animals. When Emma is not in the lab, she is either skiing or wishing she was skiing.

Favorite Secondary Character: Elizabeth Swann (Pirates of the Caribbean franchise)

Contact Emma

Joan Kim

Joan Kim

Doctoral Candidate, 1st year

After graduating from Tufts University, Joan spent some time at a cardiovascular imaging lab before transitioning back to psychology with the CORE Lab. She is currently interested in how people think about the natural world/systems and climate change. Her hope is that she can develop interventions in fighting climate change by encouraging people to think about themselves as part of the natural world and rethinking the psychological distance between the self and climate change disasters. In her free time, she likes to bake and dance.

Favorite Secondary Character: Troy (Community)

Eloise Davenport

Eloise Davenport

Doctoral Candidate, 1st year

Eloise is a first-year doctoral student in cognitive psychology. After completing her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology at the University of Miami, she joined the CORE lab to study how we think about others and generally conceptualize the world around us, including the extent to which varying life experiences and individual differences influence cognitive frameworks. Sequentially, she is interested in the relationship between cognition and judgment and decision-making, especially in health behavior and social judgment contexts, and mitigating the contradictions between intuitive biases and effective behavior. Her current research focuses on how anthropocentric reasoning and related misconceptions differ between those from rural versus urban backgrounds. Another line of work examines teleology across moral development.

Favorite secondary character: Emily Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)

Lauren Voso

Lauren Voso

Research Coordinator

Research interests: Ecological cognition, gender-related differences in environmental thinking, biology education

Favorite Secondary Character: Flounder (The Little Mermaid)

Kyleigh Watson

Kyleigh Watson

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Health literacy, intuitive language used in public health communications

Gwendolyn McManus

Gwendolyn McManus

Research Assistant

Research interests: Ecological cognition and the use of interactive media in conservation science

Favorite Childhood Book: The Golden Compass

Tobe Chima

Tobe Chima

Research Assistant

Research interests: Conceptual organisation of thought, social categorization, neurodegenerative diseases, human exceptionalism, racial disparities in healthcare

Favorite Secondary Character: Summer from One Tree Hill

Nicole Shiu

Nicole Shiu

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Clinical Psychology
 
Favorite Secondary: Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle)
Cat Cullina

Cat Cullina

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Moral and Clinical Psychology

Favorite Secondary Character: Abu (Aladdin)

Maya Mastro

Maya Mastro

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Developmental Psychology, Psychology related to the health care system, and Social Psychology

My favorite secondary character: Holly from the Polar Express

Laetitia Pierre-Louis

Laetitia Pierre-Louis

Research Assistant

Research Interest: Immunology, Mental Health, and Child Development
Favorite Secondary Character: Felicity Smoak (Arrow)
Bailey Kossow

Bailey Kossow

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Exploring the intersection between neurological diseases (such as Alzheimer’s disease) and their psychological effects.
 
Favorite Secondary Character: Winston from New Girl
Jasmine Ho

Jasmine Ho

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Psychological disorders (Anxiety & Depression), Child & Adolescent Development, Cultural/Racial Understanding and Treatment of Mental Health

Favourite Secondary Character: Amy Santiago (Brooklyn 99)

Alec Rutherford

Alec Rutherford

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Essentialism, social psychology, and racial disparities in healthcare

Favorite Secondary Character: Sohla El-Waylly (Bon Appétit)

Ritu Amarnani

Ritu Amarnani

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Abnormal Psychology, Emotion, Criminal Psychology, Development, Biochemistry, Biology

Favorite Secondary Character: Marge Simpson (The Simpsons)

Lauryn Lu

Lauryn Lu

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Racial essentialism & comfort in healthcare settings, neuropsychological disorders, intersectional social psychology

Favorite Childhood Book: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Kelly Riddle

Kelly Riddle

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Mental illness and mental health

Favorite Childhood Book: The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

Annika Toivonen

Annika Toivonen

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Social cognition, personality, developmental psychology

Favorite Childhood Book: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

Jasmin Palomo

Jasmin Palomo

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Developmental psychology, immunology, neurodegenerative diseases, social determinants of health, disparities in healthcare

Favorite Secondary Character: Uncle Iroh (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

Reshika Sai Devarajan

Reshika Sai Devarajan

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Mental health, cognitive development, cultural impact on cognitive processes, and rural health disparities

Favorite Childhood Book: Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock

Paramjai Sandhu

Paramjai Sandhu

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Clinical Psychology & Cross-cultural Psychology

Favorite Childhood Book: Lord of the Flies

Ella Hanley

Ella Hanley

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Behavioral neuroscience, neurological diseases and disorders, learning and cognition, disparities in public health 

Favorite Childhood Book: Magic Tree House: Blizzard of the Blue Moon 

Nithya Sastry

Nithya Sastry

Research Assistant

Research Interests: Biology

Favorite Childhood Book: Anything by Rick Riordan