Research Topics

One of the overarching themes of the lab is the distinction between having an experience, known as experiential consciousness, and knowing that you are having an experience, or having meta-awareness.

Probably the most salient topic of research in the lab is mind-wandering, which can be roughly divided into five categories.

An exciting recent advance in the lab’s research agenda has been an examination of the impact of meditation and mindfulness techniques on attenuating mind-wandering. 

The lab has examined creativity from a number of different perspectives.  Most recently we have examined the relationship between creativity and mind wandering.

An exciting emerging field of science is to turn the tools of science upon itself.

A long standing interest in the lab is the effects of verbalization on non-verbal cognition. 

The decline effect occurs when results which are rigorously obtained do not hold up in repeated trials. This lab is interested in investigating the cause of this frustrating phenomena which appears in a wide range of domains in science.

Although we experience emotions all day long, we only periodically stop and take stock of what emotion we are experiencing. This leads to interesting temporal dissociation between the experience of emotions and our meta-awareness of them.

 A long time interest has been the validity of recovered memories of sexual abuse. Although this has been a highly polarized topic with some researchers asserting that recovered memories are largely accurate and others insisting that they are generally false, our research suggest that both possibilities occur with some regularity.  

One of the lab’s longest standing interests has been understanding the mechanisms that lead to distortions in eyewitness memory.

With the support of a generous gift from the James Bower foundation the lab has continued to conduct controversial research on anomalous cognition or what is better known as parapsychology.

It is now common for scientists and philosophers to use the successes of science to bolster particular metaphysical views. 

Another line of research in the lab has been the impact of telling people that science has ruled out free will.