People

  • Prof. JP De Ruiter

Prof. De Ruiter is a cognitive scientist and psycholinguist whose primary research focus is on the cognitive foundations of human communication. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Cologne, and later as a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen. From 2009 to 2016 Prof. De Ruiter was Chair of Psycholinguistics at Bielefeld University, Germany, where he founded the Natural Communication HD Lab.

Contact Info:
Prof. JP De Ruiter
Departments of Computer Science and Psychology
Tufts University
490 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
Office: 617.627.2531
Email: jp.deruiter@tufts.edu

Prof. De Ruiter aims to improve our understanding about how humans and artificial agents can use language, gesture and other forms of multimodal and nonverbal signals to effectively communicate with each other. He is also interested in the computational processes involved in conversational turn taking and intention recognition in agent-agent communication. He has published in linguistic, psycholinguistic, methodological, neurocognitive, and cognitive-psychological journals. His interests include philosophy of science, artificial intelligence, and inferential statistics. Prof. De Ruiter has also initiated and/or been involved in several projects in social robotics, working on the encoding and decoding of communicative intentions in embodied artificial systems.

Dr. Saul Albert

Potrait of Saul Albert by J. P. De Ruiter

Dr. Albert is a conversation analyst and cognitive scientist. His research focuses on naturalistic human interaction and the psychology of evaluation and aesthetics. He received his PhD in 2017 working in the Cognitive Science group at Queen Mary University of London. He teaches Introductory Psychology and Interaction Psychology at Berklee School of Music in Boston.

Contact Info:
Dr. Saul Albert
Postdoctoral Associate in Psychology
Tufts University
490 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
Phone: 857.222.5992.
Email: saul.albert@tufts.edu
Personal website: http://saulalbert.net

Dr. Albert is interested in developing new research methods  between conversation analysis, ethnomethodology and cognitive science, and in applying cross-disciplinary approaches to long-standing problems of aesthetics in psychology and the philosophy of science. His work also aims to improve interaction research by developing new forms of science engagement, by experimenting with new technologies and techniques for interaction analysis, and by building networked research infrastructures.

Julia Mertens

Portait of Julia Mertens by JP De RuiterJulia is a cognitive scientist whose previous research includes the terms, biophysiology, facial expression ambiguity, autism spectrum disorders, first impressions, and eye gaze percentage. Her current research focuses on the mechanisms, causes and outcomes of miscommunication. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors of Science in Cognitive Science and Psychology in 2015, and worked as Research Assistant at the Facial Affective and Communicative Expressions Laboratory at Emerson College from 2015 to 2017.

Contact Info:
Julia Mertens
PhD Candidate in Psychology
Tufts University
490 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA 02155
Email: julia.mertens@tufts.edu

Julia aims to elucidate the contributions of physical, mental and affective states to improper production or interpretation of social cues. Currently, Julia is working on linking physical indicators of arousal to poor turn-taking abilities and apragmatic language. In the future, she hopes to explore cross-gender speech, language used in political speech, and verbal abnormalities produced by individuals with psychoses. Julia’s other research interests include artificial intelligence, programming morality, the mind-body connection, correctional facilities and solitary confinement.