Dr. Robin Thomas

Teaching Interests:

My teaching encourages students to understand how a system is organized, be it a human perceptual system or an ensemble of neurons, why it works the way it does, and how to evaluate the relative merits of various claims for explaining these processes.  Courses that I teach regularly include:  cognitive neuroscience, mathematical modeling, statistics – especially regression modeling, and methods and analysis of psychophysiological data – specifically EEG.

Research Interests:

My research spans two broad areas: i) the cognitive and neural processes that underlie our ability to recognize and categorize objects into groups, and ii) mathematical and statistical issues in testing models of perception and categorization.  Most recently, my efforts target the use and understanding of psychophysiological data in informing model construction and evaluation.  I am currently the Director for the Center for Human Psychophysiology which oversees a lab in electrophysiology in the Psychology Building.

Professional Recognition:

  • National Science Foundation (PI with co-PIs D. Bergen, K. Hugenberg, E. Schussler, & Q. Zhou, March 1, 2010 – February, 28, 2013).  MRI-R2:  Acquisition of Dense Array EEG for Research and Training across the Disciplines.  $ 222,750.
  • National Science Foundation (September, 2006 – August 2010).  Adapting systems factorial technology to the problem of model selection.  $217,525
  • 2007 Outstanding Paper Contribution for 2004-2006, Journal of Mathematical Psychology
  • 2000 Winer Memoral Guest Scholar-in-Residence, Quantitative Psychology, Purdue University
  • 1999 New Investigator, American Psychological Association (Division 3)
  • 1998 New Investigator, Society for Mathematical Psychology

Representative Publications:

Constantinadou, F. & Thomas, R. D. (2010) Principles of cognitive rehabilitation:  An integrative approach.  In press, in M. Ashley (Ed.) Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation (3rd edition). CRC Press.

Silbert, N. H., de Jong, K. J., Thomas, R. D., & Townsend, J. T. (2009) Diagonal d’ does not (always) diagnose failure of separability:  An addendum to Kingston, Diehl, Kirk, and Castleman (2009).  Journal of Phonetics 37, 339-343.

DeCaro, M.S., Thomas, R.D., & Beilock, S.L. (2008). Individual differences in category learning: Sometimes less working memory capacity is better than more.  Cognition, 107, 284-294.

Lea, M.A., Thomas, R.D., Lamkin, N.A., & Bell, A. (2007) Who do you look like? Evidence for the existence of facial stereotypes for male names.  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14(5), 901-907.

Thomas, R.D. (2006) Processing time predictions of current models of perception in the classic additive factors paradigm. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 50, 441-455.