Cognitive Psychology PhD

Content at a Glance

Interested in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience?

As a Carnegie Classification recognized “R1” university, research is emphasized in the program from day one. Students are expected to attend weekly brown bag meetings where their peers and faculty give full, professional talks on recent research activities from their lab. Beyond promoting individual excellence, the program also emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of cognitive science via two research centers specializing in unique interdisciplinary missions—the Center for Cognitive Applications (CAPS) and the Center for Development and Behavioral Neuroscience (CDBN).

Our graduate programs in psychology consistently rank within the top 25 doctoral programs at "Public Ivies." The best way to learn more about the program is to visit the department and observe firsthand. Notify us in advance of your visit to make sure that the faculty with whom you would like to speak will be available.

Area coordinator: Peter Gerhardstein, PhD

Faculty 

Gaspelin (lab page): cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying vision, attention, and distraction using eye tracking and ERPs.

Gerhardstein (lab page): visual development and digital influences on perception and learning, development of low-level contour detection and Gestalt organizational principles, using eye-tracking and ERP; fMRI anticipated 2021.  

Klin: psycholinguistics, reading, comprehension and memory for text.

Kurtz (Scholar page): behavioral and computational investigations of human learning and reasoning processes including categorization and analogy; improving the problem-solving and learning abilities of humans and machines.

Lim: auditory cognitive neuroscience, human speech perception and communication, neural dynamics and functional networks.

Miller: basic learning and memory processes, sources of forgetting, reducing and enhancing forgetting, retrieval mechanisms.

Miskovic (On Leave): affective neuroscience, human brain electrophysiology, interaction of intrinsic-extrinsic brain activity.

Westerman: human memory; particularly memory illusions, familiarity-based judgements, and the attributional processes in memory.

Van Petten: language processing focusing on the interface between semantic processing and spoken word identification, executive processes that contribute to memory.

Techniques and Available Technology

Our labs utilize a variety of methods to understand the organization of cognitive processes. These techniques and available technology include:

  • Programs created in python, Matlab, and HTML/CSS/JavaScript, hosted in-person or over the web, and designed to gauge accuracy, reaction time, and/or depth of understanding
  • Computational modeling of qualitative and quantitative patterns of behavior
  • Eye tracking studies (particularly gaze direction and the timing of eye movements)
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
  • Cortical electrophysiology (event-related potentials, phase coherence, and synchronization in the EEG)
  • Other psychophysiological measures such as heart rate, pupil diameter, and skin conductance

Admission Information

To formally apply to a graduate program at Binghamton University, it is recommended that you complete an application by December 10; however, applications will be accepted until December 31. Please follow the directions on how to apply described on the Graduate School website.

Admission to the graduate program is selective, which allows faculty to devote a great deal of individual attention to each of our students. Admission is based on: 

  • Academic performance as an undergraduate (e.g., official transcripts)
  • Official GRE scores: optional, but encouraged
  • Letters of recommendation (extremely important)
  • Fit of research interest between applicant and faculty member

Additional information on student resources may be found here.

Program alumni

The Cognitive Psychology Program prepares students for employment in academic settings, research institutes, and positions in the private sector. Our ultimate marker of success is the excellent placement of our graduate students in the job market following their PhD—with a 96% employment rate immediately following completion of their degree.