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J. David Smith, Ph.D.

SmithDavidProfessor
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
346 Park Hall
(716) 645-0229
psysmith@buffalo.edu

 

 

Summary of Research Interests

My research lies in the areas of cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. With my colleagues, I inaugurated a new and influential area of inquiry in psychological research, demonstrating that some nonhuman animals—for example, dolphins, macaques, and chimpanzees—have capacities for uncertainty monitoring and mental-state awareness with strong parallels to those in humans. My current research in this area is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. I also have strong research interests in the cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience of human and animal category learning. My current research in this area is funded by the National Institutes of Health. I have also been funded by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct homeland-security research. In this area, I study the threat-recognition problem that X-ray screeners at airports face, and I analyze why the identification of threat items in X-ray scans of baggage remains a difficult perceptual problem.

 

Representative Publications

Smith, J. D., Berg, M. E., Cook, R. G., Boomer, J. Crossley, M. J., Murphy, M. S., Spiering, B., Beran, M. J., Church, B. A., Ashby, F. G., & Grace. R. C. (2012). Implicit and explicit categorization: A tale of four species. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 36, 2355-2369

Smith, J. D., Coutinho, M. V. C., Church, B. A., & Beran, M. J. (2013). Executive-attentional uncertainty responses by rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. PMID: 2889164

Beran, M. J., Smith, J. D., & Perdue, B. M. (2013). Language-trained chimpanzees name what they have seen, but look first at what they have not seen. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797612458936

Washburn, D. A., Gulledge, J. P., Beran, M. J., & Smith, J. D. (2010). With his memory magnetically erased, a monkey knows he is uncertain. Biology Letters, 6, 160-162.

Smith, J. D. (2009). The study of animal metacognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 389-396.

Smith, J. D., Redford, J. S., & Haas, S. M. (2008). Prototype abstraction by monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 137, 390-401.

Cook, R. G., & Smith, J. D. (2006). Stages of abstraction and exemplar memorization in pigeons’ category learning. Psychological Science, 17, 1059-1067.

Smith, J. D., Beran, M. J., Redford, J. S., & Washburn, D. A. (2006). Dissociating uncertainty states and reinforcement signals in the comparative study of metacognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135, 282-297.

Smith, J. D., Redford, J. S., Gent, L. C., & Washburn, D. A. (2005). Visual search and the collapse of categorization. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134, 443-460.

Smith, J. D., Redford, J. S., Washburn, D. A., & Taglialatela, L. A. (2005). Specific-token effects in screening tasks: Possible implications for aviation security. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31, 1171-1185.

Smith, J. D., Minda, J. P., & Washburn, D. A. (2004). Category learning in rhesus monkeys: A study of the Shepard, Hovland, and Jenkins tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 398-414.

Smith, J. D., Shields, W. E., & Washburn, D. A. (2003). The comparative psychology of uncertainty monitoring and metacognition. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26, 317-373.

Smith, J. D. (2002). Exemplar theory’s predicted typicality gradient can be tested and disconfirmed. Psychological Science, 13, 437-442.

Smith, J. D., & Minda, J. P. (2000). Journey to the center of the category: The dissociation in amnesia between categorization and recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 27, 984-1002.

Smith, J. D., & Minda, J. P. (1998). Prototypes in the mist: The early epochs of category learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24, 1411-1436.

Smith, J. D., Shields, W. E., Allendoerfer, K. R., and Washburn, D. A. (1998). Memory monitoring by animals and humans. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 127, 227-250.

Shields, W. E., Smith, J. D., & Washburn, D. A. (1997). Uncertain responses by humans and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in a psychophysical same-different task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 126, 147-164.

Smith, J. D., Shields, W. E., Schull, J., & Washburn, D. A. (1997). The uncertain response in humans and animals. Cognition, 62, 75-97.

Smith, J. D., Schull, J., Strote, J., McGee, K., Egnor, R., & Erb, L. (1995). The uncertain response in the bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 124, 391-408.