skip navigation

Cognitive Psychology Ph.D. Program


The Cognitive program offers an exceptional, research-intensive training environment for students interested in understanding how the mind works. The program faculty are nationally and internationally known for innovative research on sentence comprehension and discourse, speech and language perception, word recognition and lexical access, animal cognition, auditory perception, categorization, learning, and motor control.

Well-equipped laboratories, a large participant base, a collegial and supportive atmosphere, and the opportunity to train with more than one faculty member afford our graduate students with outstanding research opportunities.

Students progress in the Ph.D. program through a combination of mentored research activities (with their primary advisor as well as other faculty members), individualized course work, opportunities for acquiring new methodological and quantitative skills, research colloquia, and teaching opportunities. To learn more about the structure and requirements of the program, please see the Program Overview.

Because our program is mentorship-based, students are admitted to work with an individual faculty member. Faculty members who are accepting students vary from year to year, so prospective students are encouraged to check the list of faculty accepting students or contact potential mentors before applying.

Questions about the program can be addressed to Eduardo Mercado, the Cognitive Area Head.

Program Faculty

Micheal Dent (Ph.D., University of Maryland): Behavioral and physiological measures of the perception of complex auditory stimuli in birds and mammals.

Gail Mauner (Ph.D., University of Rochester): Sentence and discourse processing; reading; anaphora; language processing in neurogenically impaired populations.

Christopher McNorgan (Ph.D., University of Western Ontario):Multisensory Integration, Embodied Cognition, Neuroimaging, Computational Modeling

Eduardo Mercado III (Ph.D., University of Hawaii): Cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory.

Peter Q. Pfordresher (Ph.D., Ohio State University): The way in which the mind organizes sequences of events in real time during production and perception.

Marieke van Heugten (Ph.D., University of Toronto):  Language development, psycholinguistics, early speech perception, word recognition


Student Learning Overview

A description of the Cognitive curriculum, requirements, goals, and objectives for student learning can be found here: Cognitive Student Learning Overview