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Neil Stillings
Professor of Psychology, Emeritus
School of Cognitive Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002

How I Work With Students

Although I am no longer teaching, this page provides a summary of the kind of work I did with students on their concentrations (individualized majors) and undergraduate thesis projects

Division II

The students I work with in Division II have a strong interest in cognitive science, psychology, or neuroscience, or, to put it more topically, in mind, brain, and behavior. Some do significant work in other fields, such as music, other arts, or biology. I also work with students in education and in the Culture, Brain, and Development Program. Here are the titles of some Division II committees that I have chaired in recent years:

  • Why do we do it? The Cognition and Culture of Music
  • Neuroscience and Music
  • An Exploration of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology
  • The Integrated Mind
  • Literacy and Thought
  • Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Biology
  • Psychology and Drama
  • Human Behavior
  • Cognition: Language and Perception
  • Cognitive Science: From Neurons to Qualia
  • Neuroscience, and Writing
  • Psychology
  • Approaches to Cognitive and Social Development in Educational Settings
  • Applied Molecular Neurobiology and Cognition
  • The Development of the Musical Mind

I work with students to define concentrations that (1) have the depth to support high-quality Division III projects; (2) have interdisciplinary breadth; and (3) support post-graduate plans, e.g. graduate school in psychology.

Division III

I have served on Division III committees in many areas of cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, education, and social/behavioral sciences generally. Most of the students I work with in Division III collect and analyze empirical data in either the laboratory or the field. Some recent Division III titles are
  • The Influence of Race & Urban Clothing on Implicit Stereotyping
  • Music as a Rehabilitative Tool for Cochlear Implant Users
  • Metaphor in the Mind
  • The Effects of Personality on Attitude Change
  • The Influence of Verb Semantics in Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution
  • The influence of category and relationship based learning on memory in children and adults
  • Moral Cognition: A dual-process model of moral judgments
  • The Use of Intrinsic Motivational Strategies in Special Education
  • Investigations of Pitch Contour in Subjects with Differing Emotional States
  • Processing English Orthographic Structure: Delayed Reaction Time to Monosyllables Containing Liquid and Nasalized Codas
  • Spatial Cognition in Dancers: A Study in Mental Rotation Ability
  • Making a Creative Art Creative: Teaching Music Through Inquiry
  • Behavioral and Electrophysiological Correlates of Face Processing: An ERP Study

A Note About Music

Because I know the literature in the cognitive neuroscience and psychology of music, have a working knowledge of computer music and digital audio,  know a fair amount about music theory and several musical genres (mainly jazz and classical), and have been a third-rate amateur musician, I can serve on the Division II or III committees of students whose work combines music with psychology, cognitive science, or computer science. It's true, I love music and enjoy talking with music students, but ... I am not a music faculty member and therefore cannot serve on Division II or III committees that only concern music. There has to be serious cross-over into cog/neuro/psych for me to serve on a committee.


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