Our Team

Elizabeth Brannon 

Principal Investigator

Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Chair
Professor, Dept. of Psychology

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar
Email: ebrannon@sas.upenn.edu
Department Link: UPenn Department of Psychology

Dr. Elizabeth M. Brannon graduated Summa Cum Laude from The University of Pennsylvania, where she received her B.A. in Physical Anthropology in 1992. She received a Masters degree in Anthropology and a PhD in Psychology from Columbia University. She has been at Duke in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience since the year 2000 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008 and Full Professor in 2012. She is currently the Director of Graduate Studies for the Cognitive Neuroscience Admitting Program (CNAP) and the head of the developmental area within P&N. She maintains a secondary appointment in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology.

She has received numerous academic awards and honors including the Young Investigator Award from The Society for Experimental Psychology, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, a Merck Scholar Award, and a James McDonnell Scholar Award. She is on the editorial board of Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, Psychological Science, and Infancy. Dr. Brannon’s research is funded by The National Institutes of Health and The National Science Foundation. She teaches courses on cognitive development and comparative psychology and maintains two laboratories focused on quantitative cognition in nonhuman primates and human infants.

Shalom Chen

Research Specialist

Chuyan Qu

Graduate Student
Chuyan’s research interests lie primarily in the foundations of mathematical thought. She received her B.S. in Psychology at Beijing Normal University in 2019, where she researched attention and cognitive development. She previously worked in the Brain Development Lab at Vanderbilt University under Dr. James Booth studying neural correlates of longitudinal improvement in arithmetic. Currently, she is particularly interested in how basic intuitions connect to highly abstract mathematical concepts. Her present work focuses on examining whether non-symbolic, approximate calculation can function as a bridge between our Approximate Number System and symbolic mathematics for both children and adults. She is also interested in exploring possible parallels of cognitive and neural processes involved in representing number, space and time on the fundamental nature of quantity.

Sami Yousif

Post-Doctoral Associate

Sami is a MindCORE Postdoctoral Fellow at University Pennsylvania. His primary interest is space — how it is that we perceive, interact with, and represent the spatial world around us. Sami sees space as a ‘case study’ of mental representation more broadly. Much of his work touches on broader themes in cognitive science, namely how it is that complex information is formatted in the mind. In our lab, he is studying whether and how people ‘see’ number, as well as how they represent the topological structure of space.

Puneet Bhargava

Graduate Student

Puneet is a graduate student in the joint psychology and marketing PhD program and he is interested in perception and decision making.

Undergraduate Researchers

Spring 2024

Francesca Luzzi

Lily Goldstein

Yijin Hu

Naomi Kim

Laura Grosh

Rachel GIttleman

Isabel Riley

Former Lab Members

Former Graduate Students

Dr. Kerry Jordan, Associate Professor Utah State University Lab
Dr. Jessica Cantlon, Associate Professor Carnegie Mellon Lab
Dr. Nick DeWind
Dr. Sarah Jones, Associate Professor Berea College Site
Dr. Melissa Libertus, Professor University of Pittsburgh Lab 
Dr. Rosa Li, Postdoctoral Associate Duke University Site
Dr. Ariel Starr, Assistant Professor University of Washington Site
Dr. Emily Szkudlarek, Postdoctoral Associate University of Wisconsin Site

Former Lab Managers

Dr. Evan MacLean, Assistant Professor Anthropology University of Arizona Lab 
Dr. Umay Suanda, Assistant Professor University of Connecticut Lab 
Dr. Emily Hopkins, Assistant Professor University of Scranton Site
Dr. Rachel Roberts, Graduate Student Psychology U of Michigan Site
Dr. Monica Carlson, Graduate Student Biology Princeton Lab 
Nuwur Ahmed

Former Post Doctoral Associates

Dr. Sara Cordes, Associate Professor Boston College Site
Dr. Kerry Lewis Graham, Associate Professor Texas State University Site
Dr. Joonkoo Park, Assistant Professor UMass Amherst Lab 
Dr. Michael Pinhas, Assistant Professor Ariel University, Israel Site
Dr. Jamie Roitman, Associate Professor University of Illinois Chicago Lab 
Dr. Nick DeWind Site
Dr. Stephanie Bugden, University of Winnipeg Site
Dr. Rosa Rugani, University of Padova Site
Dr. Sam Clarke, Assistant Professor University of Southern California Site