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Lera Boroditsky

Lera is the short dictator of Cognation - a sovereign state devoted to the study of Cognition. In her spare time she likes to impersonate a professor of Cognitive Psychology at Stanford.

Please be sure to sing along with the cognational anthem.

Alexia Toskos Dils

Alexia is a post-doc in psychology interested in perceptual grounding, embodiment, language, and how it all gets that way. Despite her name, Alexia can still read, which is disappointing as that would indeed be a spectacular effect of language on cognition. She is, however, Greek as her name suggests (phew! at least we have an effect of language on nationality!)

Steve Flusberg

Steve likes to think about thinking. When he's not careful he starts thinking about how we think about thinking. When he's not feeling quite so meta, he just tries to get inside other's minds. Sometimes we fear he takes these metaphors a bit too literally (see photo at left).

Paul Thibodeau

Paul is a graduate student in Psychology interested in metaphor and mental representation. Paul comes to us from Swarthmore where he began his career in metaphor by studying the careers of metaphors. When not busy giving career counseling to metaphors, Paul spends his time speaking Mandarin Chinese, and quietly plotting world domination (you've gotta watch out for the quiet ones).

Cherish Madu

Cherish comes to us from Rutgers, where she did cool thesis research on language and color perception. In her PhD work at Stanford, she is interested in culture, proverbs, and relational reasoning. Does speaking in proverbs make you smarter? Do lizards eat yams after the rain?

Long Ouyang

Long is a probability distribution. At any given moment, he might be working on a PhD at Stanford, with possible interests in mental representation, reasoning, language, problem solving, humor, and bribing maitre d's at restaurants. Is he a normal distribution, an infinitely divisible one, a Dirichlet? Stay tuned as we collect more samples...

Justine Kao

Justine is a Stanfordite. After getting her bachelors with honors in Symbolic Systems, she decided to stick around as a graduate student in Psychology. She aims to discover the computational principles of poetic beauty in metaphor. If you write any poetry, it’s better not to send it to Justine. You never know when she’ll develop the algorithm that tells you if it’s any good.

Paul Hömke

Paul is visiting our lab from the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen. His research project is looking at whether the past can be made more visible for English speakers with new metaphors that put the past in front of the body. When not busy trying to reverse the direction of time, Paul collects languages: German, English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and MATLAB.