Cognitive Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience
How do people use objects to achieve goals and solve problems? My research interests are at the intersection of three areas within cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience, namely language, memory, and action/perception. I hold a Ph.D. from the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Program at Temple University, where I also completed a year-long postdoctoral appointment in cognitive neuropsychology. Before joining the Psychology faculty at KU, I was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Psychology Department and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. Research in my lab focuses on the development of flexibility in cognitive control of semantic knowledge retrieval for goal-oriented behavior, with an emphasis on human problem solving and everyday tool use. We examine the neurocognitive processes that allow us to move beyond what we know about or how we usually interact with an object to come up with a novel or unusual use for it, when the situation imposes such demands (e.g., using a belt as a tourniquet to stop someone's leg from bleeding). To address these questions, we are collecting a combination of behavioral, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) data from healthy adults and neuropsychological populations. The aim of these studies is to identify the factors implicated in our unique and fascinating ability to re-conceptualize a tool and extend its use or to create a new artifact with which to achieve a goal or solve a problem. We are further exploring the educational applications of cognitive training paradigms for the development of higher-order thinking in children and young adults, as well as the translational implications of cognitive flexibility for the characterization of deficient cognitive/executive profiles in depression and other psychiatric disorders marked by prefrontal cortex hypofunction.
Chrysikou, E. G., Thompson-Schill, S. L. (2011). Dissociable brains states linked to common and creative object use. Human Brain Mapping, 32, 665-675.
Chrysikou, E. G., Giovannetti, T., Wambach, D. M., Lyon, A. C., Grossman, M., & Libon, D. J. (2011). Multiple assessments of object knowledge in semantic dementia: The case of the familiar objects task. Neurocase, 17, 57-75.
Casasanto, D. & Chrysikou, E.G. (2011). When Left is "Right": Motor fluency shapes abstract concepts. Psychological Science, 22, 419-422.
Thompson-Schill, S. L., Ramscar, M., & Chrysikou, E. G. (2009). Cognition without control: When a little frontal lobe goes a long way. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18, 259-263.
Chrysikou, E. G. (2006). When shoes become hammers: Goal-derived categorization training enhances problem solving performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32, 935-942.