Research Assistant

SAMANTHA LEAH BOUDAIE

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (4th year), Cognitive Science
Sam joined the lab in Spring 2022 and is currently pursuing a degree in cognitive science. She is particularly interested in the cognitive development of learning & language, as well as personality and social psychology. In the (near) future, she plans to get her doctorate in psychology, with the hopes of working in therapy settings, academic settings, and possibly in research. Beyond the lab and coursework, Sam enjoys watching movies with her roommate, learning new things, and practicing yoga!

NEGAR MODIRIAN

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (3rd year), Neurology, Physiology, and Behavior
Negar joined the lab in the spring, of 2022. Negar is pursuing her BS and aiming to attend medical school afterward. She is excited to specialize in pediatrics. She is interested in how parenting and parent's behavior can affect and have an influence on children’s executive function and cognitive control. Also, she worked with people who suffered from dementia, and is interested in the relationship between neurological aspects of these patient’s brains with their long-term and short-term memories and executive functions. In her free time, she like to write and read poems and explore different coffee shops.

JENNY GENG

  • Research Assistant
Jenny joined the lab in the Spring of 2022 after she graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Psychology in 2021. She is interested in studying how sociocultural factors influence bilingual language acquisition and production, especially for underrepresented bilingual groups. She raises questions like: how does culture shape the language-learning process and cognition in different-script bilinguals? In her free time, she likes to hip-hop dance, swim, and brew coffee.

SREYA KUMAR

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (2nd year), Cognitive Science
Sreya joined the lab in Spring 2022 and is a 2nd year Cognitive science student at UC Davis. She is interested in the intersection of Neuroscience and Computational modeling and hopes to gain a better understanding of the topic through hands-on research and other experiences. She also enjoys working with children, and spends her free time tutoring elementary school children on fundamental math and reading skills or waitressing at a local Thai restaurant.

ADITI RAO

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (2nd year), Computational Cognitive Science and Communications
Aditi joined the lab in Spring 2022 and is currently a second year undergraduate student double majoring in Computational Cognitive Science and Communications at UC Davis. In the past, Aditi has worked with neurodiverse children to improve their social and academic skills and hopes to connect what she has learned there to what the lab is currently researching. More specifically she hopes to gain a better understanding of executive functions to apply it to designing more intuitive products for people. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in UX / Product Design or Product Marketing, possibly a combination of both. With this she hopes to design products that are more accessible and usable to people with a broad range of neurological capabilities. When she’s not at school, Aditi enjoys spending her time reading at coffee shops downtown, working out with her roommate, and cooking new dishes.

MAIRE O'SULLIVAN

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (4th year), Human Development, Psychology Minor
Maire is a Human Development major and Psychology minor at UC Davis and joined the lab in the Winter quarter of 2022. She is very interested in the neuroscience of differences in executive function and contextual influences on cognition. After graduation, she hopes to continue participating in research around influences on mental health. She spends her free time with friends, listening to podcasts, and going on road trips.

NIKI H. KHALIGH

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (1st year), Cognitive Science ​
Niki joined the lab in Winter 2022 and is pursuing a degree in Cognitive Science with a Computational emphasis. She is also apart of the ASPIRE program. Niki is interested in the effects of socioeconomic disparities on children’s cognitive development and finding strategies to reduce such effects. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school to pursue a career as a physician. She hopes to provide care for the underserved and uninsured communities to increase health care accessibility. In her free time, she enjoys reading Persian poems, training her dog, and swimming.

SYDNEY RAFAEL

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (3rd Year), Cognitive Science
Sydney joined the lab in Fall 2021 and is currently majoring in Cognitive Science, with minors in both Psychology and Sociology. She is interested in Criminological and Forensic Psychology, and how their principles are applied within the law and criminal justice system. More specifically, she hopes to study the effects of psychological traits and implicit social cognition on criminal behavior. In the future, Sydney plans on attending either graduate or law school to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to build a career around Criminal Forensic Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing sports, and disappointing her friends with her music taste.

SEIGO NINOMIYA

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (4th year). Cognitive Science
Seigo joined the lab in the Fall of 2021 and is pursuing a degree in cognitive science. Seigo is interested in neural mechanisms of cognitive control and connectionist simulation models to help understand how high-level cognitive processes emerge from accumulation of simplistic signals. Additionally, he is interested in adverse effects of virtual interaction on domains of executive function and how genetic/environmental factors play roles in an individual's vulnerability. Following graduation, he hopes to attend graduate school and conduct research to gain further experiences and be specialized in methods for assessment of brain function. In his personal time, he spends his time surfing, playing drums in a band, and watching standup comedy fanatically. As a native of Japan, he is interested in traditional Japanese approaches to improve mindfulness. He believes that the traditional Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi can be applied beyond the realm of art to guide us in our lives through mindfulness and self-acceptance.

MARK MURAKAMI

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (5th year), Cognitive Science, Linguistics Minor
Mark joined the lab in Fall 2021 and is currently a 5th year Cognitive Science major with a Linguistics minor. He is interested in the development of emotion concepts, affective language, and metacognition. Particularly fascinating to him is how these interact to support problem-solving and the attribution of mental states. He spends his free time painting, playing grand strategy games, and trying to keep his kitten out of trouble.