People

Dr Brad Gibson Headshot

Bradley Gibson, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

The ability to act in a goal-directed fashion in spite of many competing forces is one of the hallmarks of adaptive human functioning. My research has examined how basic cognitive mechanisms such as selective attention and working memory optimize this adaptive behavior by allowing us to focus on, maintain, and retrieve goal-relevant information. One longstanding research interest concerns the extent to which the control of visual selective attention is voluntary (or goal-directed), and the extent to which salient objects and events in the world (e.g., unique colors, abrupt onset of stimuli or events, moving objects) can distract or “capture” our attention in an involuntary fashion, regardless of our current goals and intentions. Humans also use a wide variety of spatial symbols, ranging from abstract spatial words such as “above,” to iconic symbols such as arrows, to biologically-based symbols such as eye gaze, to control where others shift their attention. A major goal of my research is to provide a semantic-based theory of the symbolic control of spatial attention. A key feature of this theory is to explain how the processes underlying the comprehension of spatial symbols influence the distribution of attention in space. I have also developed a significant translational aspect to my study of goal-directed behavior that has involved working memory. Because working memory capacity may causally constrain the capacity to reason and learn, there has been great interest in knowing the extent to which working memory capacity is malleable, and, therefore, capable of being increased by adaptive training regimens as a strategy to improve reasoning and learning. I have recently created a novel training regimen that is capable of targeting the critical components of working memory capacity, and current research is investigating the extent to which this training can produce detectable improvements in reasoning and learning. Finally, I have also studied special populations of individuals who have both enhanced (synesthetes) and deficient (ADHD) working memory abilities to help understand how these abilities impact adaptive functioning.  


Jamie Trost Headshot

Jamie Trost, M.A.

Graduate Student, Lab Manager

Jamie Trost joined the AMP lab in the Fall of 2019. Jamie is a “double-Domer” who graduated from ND (class of 2015) with joint undergraduate degrees in Psychology and German. Prior to returning to Notre Dame, Jamie received a M.A. in Applied Behavioral Analysis and worked one-on-one with children and adults with ASD. Her research interests lie in understanding foundational and emerging models of attention and interoception. By better understanding these concepts and their associations to related diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Jamie hopes to contribute to research deficits and maladaptive processing related to attention, sensory-related deficits, and memory retrieval. She currently plans to pursue a professorship in academia that will allow her to combine her love of research and her passion for teaching.


 
Kristin Duma Headshot

Kristin Duma

Class of 2024

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Kristin first joined the AMP lab due to her interests in psychology and how the brain functions, specifically with sensory recognition. She loves the hands on research approach of working closely with the different participants as well as being able to see the full research process from beginning to end of how attention and perception interact with many different systems. Kristin is currently planning to apply to medical school after graduating from Notre Dame.

 


 
Bianca Feix Headshot

Bianca Feix

Class of 2025

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Bianca joined the AMP lab because of her interests in the brain, memory, and cognition. She thought this would be the perfect lab to join because of her interest in understanding the mechanisms behind cognitive functions such as attention, memory, and perception. After graduation, Bianca plans to attend medical school and would like to pursue a career related to neuroscience. She spends her free time playing soccer, dancing, and watching movies with her friends.


 
Amir Khouzam Headshot

Amir Khouzam

Class of 2025

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Amir Khouzam is a Neuroscience and Arabic double major, with a plan to pursue medical school after college. He loves being involved in research on campus, especially when it has to do with the mind, brain and cognition, which is why he joined the AMP lab. He is also a member of the God and the Good Life Fellows program, where he leads students in weekly philosophical dialogues. Amir is a member of the Student Government Department of Health and Wellbeing, working on projects related with mental and physical health on campus. Amir has also published work alongside the University of Tennessee Health Science Group regarding certain cardiac diseases such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. He is also a member of Keough Hall, in which he plays guitar for the Keough Liturgical Choir. In his free time, Amir loves playing piano and guitar, cooking/experimenting in his kitchen, watching critically acclaimed movies, and shooting film photography!


 
David Lavender Headshot

David Lavender

Class of 2025

Hometown: Arlington Heights, IL

David Lavender first joined the AMP lab because of his interest in the mind, cognition, and neuroscience, specifically the corresponding mental illnesses and diseases that pertain to both. He was thoroughly interested in selective attention, mental processing, and the biological basis behind all three. With the skills and lessons learned through the AMP lab, he plans to apply to MD programs in the future.


 
Spencer Leatherberry Headshot

Spencer Leatherberry

Class of 2025

Hometown: Carmel, CA

Spencer joined the AMP lab because of her interest in psychology, specifically in regards to the inner workings of attention, introspection, and visual processing. She has always been fascinated with how the brain works and how certain psychological processes present themselves externally. Being in this lab gives her the opportunity to both explore her passion for psychology as well as give her scientific and research-based experience with the internal. Introspection, attention, and visual processing, play a paramount role in everyday life, and she is excited to delve deeper into understanding processes hidden from the naked eye.


 
Michael Lukowicz Headshot

Michael Lukowicz

Class of 2023

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Michael Lukowicz is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior in addition to Music. As a pre-med student, he is particularly interested in investigating attention, memory, and perception to ultimately advance clinical treatments. After thoroughly enjoying Dr. Gibson's Sensation & Perception class, Michael joined the AMP lab to further engage with these topics. Outside of school, Michael enjoys distance running, playing piano, and singing in the Glee Club. He plans to attend medical school next year after graduating from Notre Dame.


 
Syd Maxey Headshot

Syd Maxey

Class of 2025

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Sydney Maxey is currently a sophomore at ND. She decided to join the AMP lab because she am interested in how the brain interprets one’s environment and responds to certain stresses placed on the body, such as the COVID epidemic. She is interested in how perception influences human behavior. In addition, Syd would like to incorporate what she has learned about introspection in this lab to physician-patient interaction. Because Syd plans to attend medical school upon graduation, the knowledge she gains from this lab will help her connect with future patients. She believes understanding how the mind processes daily experiences will be beneficial to her as a physician one day. 


 
Andrew Miller Headshot

Andrew Miller

Class of 2024

Hometown: Anniston, AL

Andrew is currently a junior from Anniston, Alabama majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior and minoring in theology. Andrew joined the AMP lab because of his passion for neuroscience and its implications in how we perceive the world around us. After graduation, Andrew plans on attending medical school.


 
Sarah Reidy Headshot

Sarah Reidy

Class of 2023

Hometown: Brentwood, TN

Sarah is excited to join the AMP lab this fall and further her passion for the subject of sensation and perception. She is excited to gather and analyze data on personal differences in interoception for use in her senior honors thesis. Sarah plans to apply for a cognitive psychology Fulbright in the Netherlands in the next year, Ultimately, she hopes to earn a PhD and conduct research in the rapidly growing field of alternative therapies, specifically psychedelic, art, and agriculture.


 
Cj Rodgers Headshot

CJ Rodgers

Class of 2024

Hometown: Commack, NY

CJ joined the AMP lab because of his interest in attention, given his studies in marketing, as well as his interest in visual perception, given his ongoing work in his color-shifting art series. He plans to enter the advertising industry after graduation and continue making sculptures.


 
Emma Wagner Headshot

Emma Wagner

Class of 2024

Hometown: New Lenox, IL

Emma joined the AMP lab due to her desire to learn more deeply about the complex inner workings of the mind and the impact outside influences have on the manner in which we think and behave. Emma plans to apply to medical schools next year with the hope of becoming a dermatologist, and she believes the knowledge gained from this lab will provide a great advantage in her medical career.


 
Maggie Watson Headshot

Maggie Watson

Class of 2024

Hometown: Fishers, IN

Maggie Watson is a junior interested in a combination of the theoretical and the physical when it comes to life sciences. Aspiring to one day be a doctor, she finds value in research that develops an understanding of humanity and the whole person, and sees psychology research as fulfilling this purpose. She is majoring in English, Pre-Health, and minoring in Science, Tech, and Values, and will hopefully be attending medical school in two years, applying all that has been learned through research in the psych department.