Shawn W. Ell is currently affiliated with the University of Maine’s Department of Psychology. Sean conducts neuropsychology, cognitive science, and cognitive psychology research.
My extensive research programme investigates cognitive mechanisms underlying human learning and memory. Specifically, my lab’s research focuses on “category learning,” which is the process of creating memory pathways to improve the efficiency of assigning new objects to comparison groups. Categorization learning is a particularly useful topic of study because it serves as a model for investigating numerous crucial theoretical questions pertaining to human memory and learning in general.
My research will specifically investigate:
1) the nature and interactions of multiple learning systems;
2) rule-bound behavior;
3) the relationship between social stress and cognition; and
4) the representation and improvement of cognitive function in Parkinson’s disease patients.
In pursuing these research topics, I have utilised a variety of methodological approaches to investigate category learning, such as cognitive experiments with college-aged and older adults, computational modelling, psychophysiology, and behavioural studies with neuropsychological populations.