Dr. Padilla
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Dr. Lace Padilla

Biography

Dr. Lace Padilla is an assistant professor in the Cognitive and Information Sciences department at the University of California Merced. She received a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences and an MFA in Design from the University of Utah. Padilla and collaborators were recently awarded an NSF RAPID award to study uncertainty in COVID-19 data visualizations. In 2018, she was awarded a Visionary Grant for research on Improving Trust in Uncertain Science funded by NASA. In her spare time, she is a strong advocate for minoritized groups in STEM. The National Science Foundation appointed her as a 2017/2018 STEM ambassador, and she received an NSF postdoctoral award for broadening participation in STEM at Northwestern.

Research Interests

visual cognition, decision-making and risk, uncertainty cognition, data visualization, spatial cognition, hazard decision-making, risk preparedness, cognitive biases, working memory, wildfire management, non-WEIRD populations, + cognition for the global good


Helia Hosseinpour

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Helia Hosseinpour

  • Graduate Student
  • Cognitive and Information Science , UC Merced

Biography

Helia Hosseinpour is a Ph.D. student in the Cognitive and Information Sciences department at the University of California Merced. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology-Neuroscience and a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Pennsylvania State University in May of 2020. She was also a certified member of the Presidential Leadership Academy at Pennsylvania State. As a Schreyer Honors Scholar and a Paterno Fellow, she wrote her thesis on The Effect of Natural Affect on Availability and Anchoring Heuristics. In 2018, she received awards for her conceptual poster presentation on the Effect of Mood and Motive on Usage of Availability Heuristics in Thinking Processes at the Psi Chi Research Conference.

Research Interests

decision-making, risk and uncertainty, visual cognition, systematic versus intuitive reasoning, cognitive and unconscious biases, and emotions


Dr. Castro

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Dr. Spencer Castro

Biography

Research: Spencer Castro studies the performance limitations of human-machine systems. He focuses on the validity of behavioral and physiological metrics as measures for different aspects of workload, as well as for quantifying the risk of adverse outcomes due to these workload metrics in driving.

Background: Spencer Castro joins UC Merced from a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Utah. He received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Utah for his research on workload in the context of technology and multitasking performance and a Bachelors of Science in Science, Technologyand Society from Stanford University. Spencer is originally from the Yosemite area and happy to be home.

Research Interests

decision making applied to cognitive workload measurement, attention and distraction, + R package development


Jessica Rodriguez

Jessica Rodriguez

  • Research Assistant

Biography

Jessica Rodriguez is an undergraduate Cognitive Science student. She earned her A.A. in Psychology from Merced College before transferring to UC Merced. She is interested in research regarding attention and working memory. After undergrad, she plans to continue her education as a Ph.D. candidate to focus on her research interests. Jessica is excited to be joining Dr. Padilla’s SPACE lab and hopes to contribute to the ever-growing field of Cognitive Science.