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 sixth-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 third-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.
Favorite Secondary Character: Troy (Community)
Doctoral Candidate, 2nd year
Eloise is a second-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)
After graduating from Northeastern in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Kyleigh made the decision to return back to the CORE Lab as Lab Manager in January 2023. Kyleigh has been both a Research Assistant and Co-op Research Coordinator in the CORE Lab throughout her time at Northeastern. Kyleigh is interested in how science/health information is communicated and what types of communication help or hurt people’s understanding of that information.
Research Interests: environmental tourism
Favorite Childhood Book: The Little Prince or Little Women
Research Interests: Sustainability, Environmental Science, and Computer science
Favorite Childhood Book: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea By Jules Verne
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
Research Interests: Ecological cognition, cross-cultural cognitive differences, and social reasoning.
Favorite Secondary Character: Klaus Hargreeves (The Umbrella Academy)
Research Interests: Developmental psychology, immunology, neurodegenerative diseases, social determinants of health, disparities in healthcare
Favorite Secondary Character: Uncle Iroh (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
Research Interests: Psychological disorders (Anxiety & Depression), Child & Adolescent Development, Cultural/Racial Understanding and Treatment of Mental Health
Jasmine finds it interesting to explore how people perceive and conceptualize. She is particularly interested in the research on anxiety and depression, how support systems and trauma interact with them, and effective intervention and treatment for young people.
Favorite Childhood Book: In the Womb by Peter Tallack
Research Interests: Biology
Favorite Childhood Book: Anything by Rick Riordan
Research Interests: Clinical Psychology & Cross-cultural Psychology
Favorite Childhood Book: Lord of the Flies
Peixin (Kate) Zhou
Research Interests: education, educational psychology, child& adolescent development, mental health. (maybe more detailed in the future)
Favorite Childhood Book: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
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: Cognitive neuroscience, learning and education, mindfulness/meditation
Favorite Childhood Book: The Mother-Daughter Book Club
Research Interests: Media cognition, human factors psychology, cognitive development
Favorite Childhood Book: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Research Interests: Conceptual organization of thought, social categorization, neurodegenerative diseases, human exceptionalism, racial disparities in healthcare
Favorite Secondary Character: Summer from One Tree Hill
MES Master's Student
Research Interests: Coastal adaptation and sustainability, social-ecological systems, nature-based solutions
Favorite Childhood Book: Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
Research Assistant, MES Master's Student
Research Interests: Ecological cognition and the use of interactive media in conservation science
Favorite Childhood Book: The Golden Compass
Stephanie (Juno) Mollor
MES Master's Student
Research Interests: environmental justice & education, sustainable aquaculture, sustainable human-computer interactions
Favorite Childhood Book: The Big Friendly Giant