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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Scott Marriner – Graduate Student

Scott is a first-year graduate student in the Human Factors Engineering program in the School of Engineering. He has previous research experience in emotional intelligence and leadership performance. His primary research interests center around understanding cognitive workload and attentional demands as well as subtractive changes in design and planning. In his free time, Scott enjoys reading about history, working out, playing pickleball, and traveling with his wife, Caitlin. He can be reached at: scott.marriner@tufts.edu

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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. student in the Department of Psychology. Kayla earned a BA in Psychology from Arcadia University in 2020. As an undergraduate, Kayla immersed herself in research experiences within various disciplines throughout her undergraduate university and external research facilities and hospitals. Most notably, she was a NSF-sponsored research fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and studied the relationship between executive functions and risky driving behaviors in young drivers. Kayla has received national recognition for her research as a graduate student, primarily as an honorable mention for the NSF GRFP (2021), and as an undergraduate as a Barry M. Goldwater National Scholar (2019). Broadly, her research interests center around the extent of human cognition and performance in complex situations, particularly those that promote multitasking. Her most current and specific research interest includes the (in)efficacy of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) and similar methods for cognitive enhancement and how individuals’ outcome expectations can influence the effectiveness of such methods. In her free time, Kayla enjoys admiring her plants and her cat Samwell, reading every novel and novella in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (one day we will get The Winds of Winter), and playing board games. Kayla can be contacted 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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Samantha Chan – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sam is a sophomore in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in Engineering Psychology and minoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship. She is interested in interactive 3D experiences and the field of user experience. In her free time, she enjoys baking, taking film photography, and trying new dessert places.

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Charlotte Conroy – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Charlotte is a sophomore in the School of Arts & Sciences majoring in Biopsychology and minoring in Child Studies. She is interested in the neuroscience behind habit-forming and it’s effects on brain development. Outside of the lab, Charlotte enjoys spending time outside, exploring new cities, and spending time with friends and family.

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Courtney Kreitzer – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Courtney is a sophomore at Tufts University majoring in Engineering Psychology. She is interested in studying how humans interact with technology, especially regarding human-computer interaction, UI/UX, and product design. In her free time, Courtney enjoys weightlifting, rock climbing, traveling, and playing Scrabble.

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Taylor Levin – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Taylor is a junior in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in Biopsychology and minoring in Dance. She is particularly interested in the growing field of biotech and psychopharmacology. In her free time, Taylor loves to spend time with her friends, participating in dance workshops, and volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association.

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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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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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Andy Xu – Undergraduate Research Assistant

Andy is a sophomore in the school of Arts and Sciences majoring in Engineering Psychology and Community Health. He is interested in user experience and design, as well as the application of psychology in the field of public health. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, video games, and exploring new places.

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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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William Zhuang – Undergraduate Research Assistant

William is a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in Engineering Psychology and English. He is originally from Qingdao, China, but has been studying in the US since 2015. He is interested in how human cognition can be manipulated through methods of brain stimulation. Outside of school, William enjoys creative writing, works as an editor for campus magazines, and loves going to concerts around Boston.

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