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Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences (ACBS) Research

Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences researcher examines brain waves

Research in applied cognitive and brain sciences takes a use-inspired approach to cognitive neuroscience. The psychology department houses a number of renown experts and labs that focus on cognitive science research topics. For students interested in these topics, Drexel’s PhD in Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences is devoted to training the next generation of scientists in basic brain science research.

Cognitive Neuroengineering and Wellbeing Research Lab (CogNeW)

The CogNew Lab studies the cognitive and engineering notions of "control" in the human brain in order to promote human wellbeing. To this end, students and faculty in the lab use neuroimaging (MRI, EEG, etc), neuromodulation (TMS), and cognitive data in healthy and neurological populations to conduct cognitive science research. The CogNew Lab also examines public perceptions and moral attitudes toward cognitive optimization.

The core goal of the CogNeW lab is to increase human wellbeing. To achieve that goal, lab members study how to improve cognitive and motor functions along the continuum from basic to clinical models in humans. Undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers all contribute to this goal as members of the lab.

Current Applied Cognitive and Brain Science Research Projects

Research projects in the lab are related to the following cognitive science research topics:

  • Cognitive Network Neuroscience
  • Brain Stimulation and Control Theory
  • Neuropathology and Neuroplasticity


Apoorva Kelkar, Research Specialist

Brian Erickson, Post-doc

John D. Medaglia, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Learn more about the CogNew Lab

Chrysikou Research Lab

How do people use their knowledge about the world to achieve goals and solve problems? Research in the Chrysikou Lab aims to answer this question by focusing on the intersection of three areas within cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, namely memory, language and action/perception. The investigates the flexibility in cognitive control during goal-oriented behavior, with an emphasis on human problem solving and everyday tool use.

The lab uses cognitive neuroscience methods (functional and structural MRI, noninvasive transcranial electric stimulation, and lesion studies) to study flexibility in cognitive and emotional regulation, as well as the implications of such flexibility for theories of semantic knowledge organization and cognitive control.

The lab further explores the educational applications of cognitive flexibility training paradigms for the development of higher-order thinking in young adults, as well as the translational implications of cognitive flexibility for the characterization of deficient cognitive/executive profiles in depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders marked by prefrontal cortex hypofunction. The lab is directed by Principal Investigator Evangelia G. Chrysikou, PhD, and includes undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Primary Cognitive Science Research Topics

  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Neural bases of memory, language, and executive functions
  • Neurocognitive processes associated with problem solving and flexible thought
  • Functional neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation in healthy and psychiatric populations (mood and anxiety disorders)
  • Translational neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology


Lila Chrysikou, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology
215.553.7170 |

Learn more about the Chrysikou Lab

Creativity Research Lab

The Creativity Research Lab at Drexel University does pioneering research on the cognitive neuroscience of creativity and innovative thinking in problem solving, invention, business, education and the arts. We investigate creative thought and its enhancement both in terms of its neural basis and its potential practical applications. The CRL invites inquiries regarding collaborations, grants and sponsorships.


David Rosen, Doctoral Candidate

Monica Truelove-Hill, Doctoral Candidate

Yongtaek Oh, Doctoral Student

John Kounios, PhD, Professor of Psychology

Learn more about the Creativity Research Lab

Quantitative Psychology and Statistics Research Lab

As the amount of data being generated is exploding, we have entered the era of Big Data. To the extent that data can be analyzed, we may be able to gain a completely new perspective on our world, on how people interact, perceive information, and spend their resources.

Though promises are held, the high-dimensionality and huge size of data sets can lead to inferential problems of their own—particularly spurious correlations, noise accumulation, and incidental homogeneity. New statistical thinking and computational approaches are required to handle these challenges. Many traditional methods that perform well for moderate sample size or low dimensional data do not scale to massive data or high dimensional data.

The Quantitative Psychology and Statistics Research Lab focuses on the development and application of advanced statistical models to analyze complex and high dimensional data (e.g. neuroimaging data, complex behavioral data). In particular, we have been focused on using multimodal neuroimaging (e.g., MRI, DTI, rs-fMRI) to examine neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) and psychiatric disorders (e.g., PTSD, eating disorders).

The modeling approach we take includes machine learning, Bayesian inference, and high dimensional data analysis. In addition, we collaborate with the WELL center on projects related to treatment development for weight loss maintenance and eating disorders.

Current Applied Cognitive and Brain Science Research Projects

Research in the Quantitative Psychology and Statistics is related to the following topics:

  • Multimodal neuroimaging
  • Neuroimaging statistics
  • Wearable computing
  • Data mining
  • High dimensional data analysis
  • Bayesian interference
  • Weight loss maintenance


Zoe Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Learn more about the Quantitative Psychology and Statistics Lab