Senior Comps

Check out recent examples of Cognitive Science senior comprehensive projects, or senior comps. Completion of a senior comps project is part of Oxy’s graduation requirements.

2019-20 Cognitive Science Senior Comps Presentations

Devoney Amberg: The Overlap Between Specific Language Impairment and Bilingualism: Enhancing Our Understanding of Language Processing

Erin Ball: Moral Decision-Making in the Brain

Isaiah Bird: An Analysis on Mirror Neurons

Michael Caballero: The Limitations of Language's Reach in Cognition

Annalie Virginia Dern: Memory in Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Impacts of Trauma on Explicit Recall

Isabel Geddes: Reflecting on the Limitations of the Cognitive Reflection Test

Alexis Hale: Supporting Students with ADHD in the Classroom: Evaluating Existing Services and Suggesting Improvements

Cassia Harrison: Audio-Visual Illusory Susceptibility: Cognitive Differences and Modulatory Effects

Sarah Hofmann: Contextualizing Evidence for Plant Intelligence

Jessamine Cerina Jeter: Metaphor Comprehension: Impact of Sign Language, Language Impairments, and Multilingualism Research

Neeharika S. Kadavakolanu: Behavioral Biometrics: Uniquely Identifying Users for Fraud Prevention

Betsy Li: Street Drug to Antidepressant: Ketamine's Mechanism and Potential Long-Term Effects

Ellen McDermott: Virtual Reality: Long-Term Behavioral Effects

Perrin Shyne: Discovering the Mental Network of Narrative Comprehension

Peri Wallent: How Does Social Media Impact News Consumption?

Sally Xinle Zhou: Cognitive Impact of Bilingualism on Arithmetic Operations

2018-19 Cognitive Science Senior Comps Presentations

Isabella Capeci: Reassessing the Dictionary Model of the Mental Lexicon

Kyle Costello: Comparing the Intracellular Processes of Neural Pruning

Hannah Q. Glover: Illustrating Mental Illness: Should Mood Disorders Have Personas?

Eleanor Goulden: Could Sex-Based Differences in Sympton Experience and Treatment Explain the Diagnostic Discrepancy in Somatic Symptom Disorder?

Oliver Killeen: Putting the Art in Artificial Intelligence

Kirsten Laursen: Medical Applications of the Framing Effect

Juliah Lee: Putting Theory into Practice: Moral Disengagement and In-Group Bias in Counter-Terrorism Policy

Alexander Levers: Linguistic Relativity and Jamaican Patois: A Case Study

Devon Mann: Treating Aphasia: Which Methods Are Most Effective?

Vanessa Nguyen: Does Making Judgements of Learning Improve Memory?

Justin Ratzan-Wank: Mirror Movements

Christopher Rom-Toribio: Cognitive Deficits Motivate Development of Technological Treatments

Maria Salter: Animal Assisted Therapy as a treatment method for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Candice Shim: The Bilingual Advantage: Effects of Bilingualism on Inhibitory Control

Kallyn Song-Nichols: Gendered robots can change children’s gender stereotypes and the social implications of such: On reality building and how Man manifests

Andrew Valenzuela: Understanding Antidepressant Action through a Neuropsychological Approach

Hannah Wagner: Evidence of Language Acquistian in Non-Human Primates

Chloe Zeller: Repurposing Word Embeddings to Quantify Implicit Attitudes

2017-18 Cognitive Science Senior Comps Presentations

Chloe Hoeber 
My comps project reviews deficits of inhibitory control, an aspect of cognitive control, in a handful of psychiatric disorders. It will evaluate the possibility of using cognitive control deficits as criteria for classifying and diagnosing psychopathology.

Judith Glikberg
The Unfolded Protein Response in Neurodegenerative Diseases: An analysis of recent research implicating that the unfolded protein response may play a role in underlying neurophysiological symptoms of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. From this analysis I will be looking at possible future targets for treatment of these neurodegenerative diseases, based on the effect this pathway has on cognitive and behavioral deficits.

Jackson Goode
Cognitive Architectures, Potentials and Plausibility: My comps investigates popular cognitive architectures and their implementation of a cognitively plausible episodic memory module that would benefit an agent in experience based learning. It looks at how researchers are going about programing AI using what we know about models of cognition.

Kendall Smith
Racial Bias Development: My comps topic addresses the development of racial bias in children, and the factors that contribute to maintaining that bias.

Helena Oldenbourg
Sibling Relationships and Empathy: I am examining the theories behind a correlation between warmth in sibling relationships and empathy. I will examine the metrics which have been used to test this connection and evaluate their success.

Reed Foster
Dance and Cognition: My comps topic explores the concept of "marking" and attempts to answer the questions about how this type of movement reduction works cognitively as well as whether or not it is more effective than alternative methods of rehearsal.

Eushrah Hossain
The role of self reflection in the self medication hypothesis: Khatzian’s Self Medication Hypothesis explains that an individual’s drug of choice is not chosen randomly but rather reflective of the feelings they struggle with. I want to explore the process of self reflection and decision making that might go into self medication.

Hiipoi Lee
The Role of Code-Switching in Swearing: My comps project is on how speakers of languages without dedicated swear words perform the role of swearing. I show that speakers of 'swearless' languages code-switch to swear.

Bex King
A neurobiological explanation of self-stigma in schizophrenic adolescents: My project explains what goes on in the brain of adolescent schizophrenics in regards of negative self-perception.

Elizabeth Hribal
Inter-Neural Synchrony and its Relationship with Speech Coordination: I will be assessing the methods of measuring inter-neural synchrony and the underlying neural mechanisms. I will be examining the relationship of inter-neural synchrony and language coordination, specifically phonetic and rhythmic coordination, during various forms of communication. The analysis of this relationship will be extended to foreign language communication, as well as sign language. 

Lani Cupo
The potential effects of meditation on pain perception and regulation: I want to explore the efficacy of using meditative techniques to control pain. I question whether there is truly a valid, reliable means of empirically testing claims that researchers in the field of Contemplative Neuroscience make.

Keenan Leary
Music Taste as a Neural-Emotional Phenomenon: I want to research how the brain processes music by looking at emotional genres to align with this framework and investigate how specific, quantifiable musical elements are thought to contribute to emotionality. AI categorization and recommendation of music will be critiqued from this perspective.

Taylor Robinson
Thinking with Two Tongues: Movement in Space and through Time: According to the theory of linguistic relativity, the language you speak determines the way you perceive and categorize the world. In this study we explore the relationship between bilingualism and the way that we conceptualize space, motion, & time.

Lianne McKinney
Minimizing the Stereotype Threat Effect: The stereotype threat is when someone thinks they are going to perform poorly because of a stereotype which causes stress and poor performance often on academic tasks.  In my comps, I want to look at ways that are already researched that have been proven to minimize the stereotype threat effect and see which one is best.

Nicholas Mayer
My comps topic investigates how physical exercise leads to structural changes in the hippocampus, and the implications these changes have for cognitive functioning - specifically learning and memory enhancement - in young adults.

Ian Silverstein
The Role of Expertise in Arts Viewing Scenarios: An investigation into the differences that exist between art novices and art experts, with an emphasis on the role that these differences play in perceived outcome of an arts viewing scenario.

Thomas Egan
My comps project is about the connection between Bilingualism and Creativity. I'm specifically investigating how this link develops and how it relates to the critical period of language learning.

2015-16 Cognitive Science Senior Comps Presentations

  • A computational model of false memory
  • Exploring the cognitive experience of beauty through visual art
  • Have you yawned yet? The effect of empathy on contagious yawning
  • Real friends vs. fake friends: The question of cognates on bilingual language processing
  • The Hard Problem: Explaining conscious experience in cognitive science research
  • Associations between color and shape
  • Computational creativity: Four perspectives and future directions
  • Multitasking with digital and non-digital distractions
  • The psychological benefits of engaging with visual art
  • Binaural beats: The truth behind the trend
  • Caffeine and memory consolidation among different personality types
  • Emotional AI: The future of emotionally intelligent machines
  • Is emotion in the brain?
  • Practice makes perfect: Exploring persistence variance across academic and extracurricular pursuits in high school students
  • Individual differences in working memory affect musical preference
  • Automatic extraction of English loan words from Urdu text