Lisa A. Solinger

Ph.D. Student–Brain, Behavior & Cognition

 

Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Washington University in St. Louis

lisasolinger (at) wustl.edu

 

NSF Graduate Research Fellow

 

Broadly speaking, I'm interested in accuracy and illusion in human cognition.

 

People tend to believe that they are capable of accurately perceiving their experiences–that they have free will in guiding their behavior and making decisions.  Yet research has shown that, often, this is not the case.  People claim to remember events that never happened (Loftus, 1993), they fail to notice sudden and drastic changes in their environment (Simons & Levin, 1998), and they find a boring task more interesting if they are underpaid to do it than if they are overpaid (Festinger & Carlsmith, 1959). 

 

Indeed, the human brain does not allow us to experience the world as it is but, instead, is limited by its ability to perceive the world through touch, taste, sight, sound and smell.  In other words, the limitations of our senses set the boundaries of our conscious experience. This experience of the world is what drives our behavior, even when it is systematically inaccurate.  I'm interested in understanding the experience the human mind creates, how that experience relates to the physical world, and how accuracies or inaccuracies in that experience influence our behavior.

 

More specifically, my work focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie human memory and decision making.  Please see the projects page for more information.

Lisa A. Solinger