The research program of the Computational Neuropsychology and Simulation (CNS) Lab (PI: Dr. Thomas D. Parsons) lies at the intersection of neuropsychology and novel technologies. The aim is to understand individual and social cognition via emerging technologies and ecologically valid simulations.
Research: The CNS Lab uses novel technologies (human-computer interfaces, virtual/augmented reality, video games) and novel data analytics (neuroinformatics; artificial neural networks; machine learning) for assessment/training of neurocognitive and affective functions. Students training in the lab focus on the following areas/projects:
- Virtual Environment Grocery Store (VEGS): We are working with collaborators internationally and nationally to develop the psychometric properties (i.e., norms) of the VEGS-based neuropsychological assessment battery. The VEGS is being applied to various neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders.
- Virtual School Environment (VSE): The VSE is being applied to both neurotypical (i.e., normally developing) participants and persons with various neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., Autism; ADHD). This project includes collaborators internationally and nationally. We aim to establish the psychometric properties (i.e., norms) of the VSE-based neuropsychological assessment battery.
- Neuroethics, Social Neuroscience, and Moral Dilemmas in Virtual Reality: Traditional approaches to assessing moral judgements and decision-making processes have subjected individuals to static stimuli and/or vignettes (hypothetical choices) that often do not reflect the dynamic nature of judgements and decisions made in everyday activities. This project aims to use virtual and augmented reality scenarios to enhance the ecological validity of research in social neuroscience, clinical neuropsychology, and neuroethics.
Training: The CNS Lab aims to produce well-trained psychologists devoted to the continuous development of an empirical knowledge base in neuropsychology, cyberpsychology, and human-computer interactions. Students are prepared for employment in academic and industry settings.