Core Lab Team
CORE Lab Team
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.
Doctoral Candidate, 6th 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)
Doctoral Candidate, 3rd 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)
Doctoral Candidate, 2nd 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.
Doctoral Candidate, 2nd 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)
Research interests: Ecological cognition, cross-cultural cognitive differences, and social reasoning.
Favorite Secondary Character: Klaus Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy)
Research interests: Ecological cognition, gender-related differences in environmental thinking, biology education
Favorite Secondary Character: Flounder (The Little Mermaid)
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
Research Interests: Social Essentialism, Biomedical Anthropology, Social Determinants of Health, and Behavioral Immunology
Reshika Sai Devarajan
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
Research Interests: Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Development, Educational Psychology
Research Interests: Biology
Favorite Childhood Book: Anything by Rick Riordan
Research Interests: Causes and Functions of individual differences in Cognition, Learning, Social Behavior, Moral Reasoning, and Mental Health
Favorite Childhood Book: Milo and the Magical Stones
Research interests: Conceptual organisation of thought, social categorization, neurodegenerative diseases, human exceptionalism, racial disparities in healthcare
Favorite Secondary Character: Summer from One Tree Hill
Research Interests: Clinical Psychology & Cross-cultural Psychology
Favorite Childhood Book: Lord of the Flies