Team

Nathan Ward – Principal Investigator

Dr. Ward’s research is focused on understanding and improving the ability to manage multiple streams of information (i.e., multitasking) both in the lab and in real-world settings. His work aims to unpack the cognitive mechanisms that support multitasking, such as task switching and dual tasking, as well as to understand whether these and other mechanisms are differentially engaged across the lifespan. To this end, he uses several approaches, ranging from simulated environments to speeded response times, in order to assess real-time multitasking performance in younger and older adults. He also relies on interventions like cognitive training, exercise, and low-current brain stimulation to modulate how people multitask under a variety of scenarios. Dr. Ward can be reached at: nathan.ward@tufts.edu

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Erika Hussey – Research Scientist

Dr. Hussey is a program manager at the Defense Innovation Unit, where she implements projects focused on cognitive performance optimization across the Armed Services. Prior to this, she was a cognitive scientist at the US Army’s CCDC Soldier Center and the Tufts Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She is interested in translational science that applies neurocognitive principles to improve how active duty military members perform and train.

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 Eduardo Fontes – Visiting Scholar

Dr. Fontes is a visiting scholar from Brazil. Using different neurological techniques, such as transcranial electrical stimulation, EEG, NIRS and MRI, he has been investigating the role of cognition when regulating physical exercise. His research has been applied to clinical populations, such as drug abusers, obese children, and older adults, as well as healthy individuals and athletes.

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Tom McWilliams  – Graduate Student

Tom is a sixth year Ph.D. student in the Psychology and Cognitive Science program. He has a background in Cognitive Psychology, Human Factors, and driving research. He is interested in how people handle multiple streams of information and how our understanding of attention and multitasking can be applied to virtual environments and human-machine interactions. He can be reached at: thomas.mcwilliams@tufts.edu

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Thomas Wooten – Graduate Student

Tom is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Psychology Department. He has previous experience in visual cognition, sleep research, clinical neuroimaging, and clinical neuropsychology. His primary research interests include exploring how risk factors interact to influence cognitive functioning, as well as better understanding the relationship between physiological functioning and sustained attention. In his free time, he likes to go for runs with his dog Phoebe and play basketball with friends. He can be reached at: thomas.wooten@tufts.edu

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Kayla Sansevere – Graduate Student

Kayla is a third-year Ph.D. researcher in the Psychology program. Her primary research interests are centered around investigating the ways that task performance is influenced by complex situations that promote multitasking, especially as it involves technology and occurs in applied contexts like driving. Kayla primarily uses a cognitive psychological framework to explore these interests, though she also draws from her research experiences in human factors, public health, and social and personality psychology. In her free time, Kayla enjoys cuddling with her cat Samwell, bike riding, and playing board games. She can be reached at: kayla.sansevere@tufts.edu

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Kayli Battel – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kayli is a junior at Tufts pursuing a B.S. in Human Factors Engineering with a minor in Engineering Education. She is particularly interested in the overlap between product design and usability, while also focusing on the interplay between art and the STEM fields. Kayli has also published the paper “‘We Make the Village’ – Inspiring STEM Among Young Girls and the Power of Creative Engineering Education in Action”. Outside of the lab, she enjoys classical painting, volleyball, cats, and working with young women pursuing STEM education and career paths. 

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Joel MacVicar – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Joel is a junior in the School of Engineering majoring in Human Factors Engineering and Mathematics.  More specifically, he is interested in using math to quantify abstract measures in Human Factors such as satisfaction. Outside of school, Joel enjoys playing guitar with his friends, skiing, and fishing.

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Aditi Mehndiratta – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aditi is a junior in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in Engineering Psychology and minoring in Cognitive Brain Sciences and Computer Science. She is particularly interested in the role robotics can play in child development. In her free time, Aditi loves to spend time with her dog, bake new recipes, and play field hockey.

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Disha Narain – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Disha is a junior in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in Engineering Psychology and Economics. She grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates but is from Mumbai, India originally. She is particularly interested in art and design and has recently entered the world of NFTs. In her free time, Disha loves to spend time with her friends, exercising and playing Netball (look it up – it is the British version of basketball!) and tennis.

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Alina Qi – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Alina is a sophomore at Tufts pursuing a B.S. in Biopsychology with a Cognitive and Brain Sciences minor. She is particularly interested in the ways that cognition, like multi-tasking and decision making, can be more efficient through stimulation of brain regions and exercising methods. Outside of the lab, Alina is a member of the Tufts Volleyball team and enjoys  volunteering.

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Danny Samuels – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Danny is a junior in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in Engineering Psychology. He is interested in applying the concepts of human centered design into product development. In his free time, Danny enjoys rock climbing, playing guitar, and spending time with his dog.

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Bella Sidoruk – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Bella is a sophomore at Tufts double majoring in Cognitive and Brain Sciences as well as Science Technology and Society. She is interested in cognition, especially regarding decision making and multitasking. In her free time, Bella loves to bake, ski, stay active, learn new information and spend time with her family, friends and dog.

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Audrey Yang – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Audrey is a junior at Tufts pursuing a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Human Factors Engineering. She is particularly interested in understanding human-computer interaction through processes like UX & UI. Outside the lab, she enjoys finding new places to eat with her friends and family, throwing pottery, and hanging out in the Asian American Center on campus.

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