Shawn W. Ell is currently with the Department of Psychology at the University of Maine. Sean conducts research in neuropsychology, cognitive science, and cognitive psychology.
My broad research program investigates the cognitive mechanisms of human learning and memory. In particular, research in my lab focuses on category learning—the process of creating memory trajectories to improve the efficiency of assigning new objects to comparison groups. Category learning is a particularly useful focus because it provides a model to investigate many important theoretical questions related to human learning and memory in general.
More specifically, my research plans to examine: 1) the nature and interactions of multiple learning systems; 2) rule-bound behavior; 3) the relationship between social stress and cognition; 4) cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease patients representation and improvement. In pursuing these research topics, I have used a range of methodological approaches to study category learning, including traditional cognitive experiments with college-aged and older adults, computational modeling, psychophysiology, and behavioral studies with neuropsychological populations.