Brooke Macnamara

Associate Professor | Cognitive Psychology

Mather Memorial Building 131A

Other Information

Degree: B.A. - Columbia College Chicago, M.A. - Union Institute & University, M.A. - Princeton University, Ph.D. - Princeton University

Education: Ph.D. - Princeton University

Specialty: Psychology

Research Interests

My background is in individual differences in cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory capacity, fluid intelligence) as well as bilingualism.

Primarily, I investigate complex human performance—skill acquisition, achievement, and expertise. I am interested in predictive factors such as individual differences in cognitive abilities and individual differences in experience (e.g., deliberate practice) on performance variance. I also examine factors that interact with these predictors or play indirect roles. For example, I am conducting a number of studies investigating how characteristics of the task influence the importance of these predictors; how beliefs (e.g., mindset) predict achievement via influence on experience; and how reliance on artificial intelligence assistance might hinder learning among trainees and/or cause skill atrophy among experts.

Secondarily, I am interested in bilingual performance. Specifically, I am interested in the circumstances under which bilingual experience influences cognitive abilities (if any); the role of bilingual management demands, such as amount of language conflict and the degree to which the environment cues both languages; the effect of thinking in a foreign language; and predictors of skill acquisition and expertise in complex bilingual processing tasks such as simultaneous interpreting.

I accept PhD students into my lab if they are interested in skilled performance or the underlying processes of one or more cognitive abilities. For instance, one of my PhD students and I are currently investigating working memory load during visual search and another PhD student and I are investigating mechanisms of cognitive control.

Please see my lab page (link on the right of the screen) for more information.


Current Graduate Research Assistants

Michael King

Huangqi Jiang



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