img_5850-250x289Dr. Joseph Schmidt (Assistant Professor)

I received my Ph.D. in Experimental & Cognitive Psychology in 2012 from Stony Brook University.  After receiving my doctorate, I spent two years as a Post-doctorate Research Fellow at the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Mind and Brain.  After my Post-doctorate position, I spent over a year as a Research Support Specialist at SR Research.

My primary research interest focuses on the interaction of memory and attentional systems and how they affect our broader cognitive functions.  By simultaneously tracking eye movements and recording EEG/ERP we can measure both overt and covert shifts of attention which can then be related to the amount and intensity of memory representations. Much of my research focuses on how changes to a target representation held in memory affect our ability to later guide attention to that object in peripheral vision.  Given that memory and attentional processes are involved in most tasks, my research interests are quite broad.

In my free time, I spend time with my wife, 2 boys, and 7 (yikes!) pets.

Post Doctoral Fellow

Stephen Adamo

I received my Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience in 2016 from Duke University under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Mitroff. During that time, I also studied abroad at Virje University and The George Washington University. I then spent two years at The George Washington University as a postdoctoral researcher under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Mitroff and Dr. Sarah Shomstein in the psychology department, and Dr. Rachel Brem in the radiology department.

My primary research interests center around the role attention and working memory play within visual search. In particular, I investigate how observers search for multiple targets at once and the ramifications this has for real-world searches such as those conducted by airport security officers and radiologists.

My hobbies include volleyball, going to the gym, camping, cooking, and swing dancing!

Graduate Students


I am a second year doctoral student in the Human Factors and Cognition program. I received my B.S. in Psychology at UCF. Currently, I am using behavioral and electrophysiological techniques to examine the relationship between category learning and search performance. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, baking, and spending time with my Chinese Crested Powderpuff, Doeby.

Natalie Paquette

I am a first year doctoral student in the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology program. I received my M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience at George Mason University and my B.S. in Psychology and minor in Cognitive Science at the University of Central Florida. I am researching the neural underpinnings of memory and attention to assess how they affect broader cognitive function. I hope to better define the neurological and cognitive changes that occur across the lifespan, explore their causes, and develop ways to promote healthy brain function. In my free time, I love to spend time outdoors, play with animals, or eat lots of snacks while catching up on movies.

Michael Miuccio

I am a first year PhD student in the Human Factors and Cognitive Psychology program. I majored in Psychology at Rutgers University where I first became involved in research working in neuroscience labs. I am interested in studying and discovering ways to improve and sustain attention. In my spare time, I like to play piano, guitar, and bass.

Lab Manager

Cianna piercey

I am a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Sciences. I graduate in Fall 2019 and afterwards plan to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology and neuroscience. I am an Honors in the Major student and I am an active member of Psi Chi International Honor Society. While I have many different research interests, I am particularly interested in examining the effect of substance use on the brain, behavior, and cognitive functioning. In my free time, I enjoy camping, going to music festivals, painting, and spending time with family.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

olivia WARREN

I am a Health Science major currently in my last semester! My goal is to become a practicing physician and specialize in pediatric neurology or neurosurgery. In my free time I enjoy working out, listening to podcasts, walking my dog and napping!

Tyler garris

I am a Junior Majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology with aspirations of attending Medical School. I joined the lab to better understand research and broaden my knowledge of attention and memory in our everyday life. In my free time, I watch Miami Marlins baseball and Orlando Magic basketball.


 I am a recent graduate from UCF where I earned my B.S. in Psychology. I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in Psychometrics. When I’m not in the lab I serve as an administrator for a local nonprofit, Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida. In my spare time I like to volunteer at my local church  or decompress at hot yoga.


I am a Junior at UCF majoring in psychology and concentrating in neuroscience. I hope to pursue clinical neuropsychology in graduate school and continue research within the field of neuroscience. My research interests include the physiological effects of stress and mood disorders on the brain, while focusing on finding alternative treatments and medicine.

KENDahl krause

I am a psychology major with a minor in statistics. It is my third year at UCF. I joined the lab to better my understanding of neuroscience research and attention and memory. In the future, I hope to continue to do research by going to graduate school and pursuing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.  During my free time, I like to do ballet, read, listen to music, and spend as much time as I can outdoors.

Samantha Lopez

I am a Clinical Psychology Major and I’m also going for my certificate in Behavioral Forensics. I am in my senior year. I’m from New York and  I’ve transferred twice before settling down as a Knight! I became an RA in January of 2018 for the Attention and Memory Lab where I have learned how to do EEG studies, and eye tracking studies. In May, I’ll be presenting research I’ve been doing here at the lab with the help of Dr. Joseph Schmidt and my mentor Ashley Ercolino. When I am not in school or in the lab, you will find me at work as an Operations Administrator for FedEx. I plan on pursuing my PhD in Clinical Psychology and Social Work and hopefully to help change the lives of young adults in the future. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, reading fictional novels, and watching movies.

james langer

I am a senior at the University of Central Florida majoring in Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Sciences.  I will graduate in the Fall of 2019 and expect to enroll in a Clinical Psychology PhD program afterwards with an emphasis on neuroscience.  My research interests are varied but include mindfulness-based CBT and media effects on substance use. Ultimately, I hope to utilize a Clinical Psychology PhD to have a multifaceted career in research, teaching, and counselling.  At UCF, I am currently an active member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society and I’m finishing research on an Honors in the Major thesis through the Burnett Honors College.  In my free time I like to ride my bike, hike or camp in beautiful places, and attend music festivals.


I am a fourth year psychology major, who joined the lab in fall 2018. I joined because I wanted to expand my knowledge of how research was conducted in a college setting. My goal is to receive a PhD in Clinical Psychology and continue work in university as a professor. In my free time, I like to go to the beach, exercise, and fence.


I am a psychology major, currently in my senior year. I am planning to earn a Ph.D. in cognitive/ behavioral psychology or clinical psychology. My focus is going to be therapy/counseling, specifically with adults. My research interests touch on how metacognition affects overt and covert behavior and how sleep and stress influence cognition. In my free time I like to listen to music, watch Korean reality shows, and spend time with my identical twin.

Mariana ortiz

I am a Psychology Major on the Neuroscience track with a Minor in
Italian. I joined this lab to further my experience in research and to
learn more about eye tracking and EEG. I aspire to go on to med school
one day and eventually specialize in pediatric neurology and live my life helping others. Aside from school I love traveling and learning new languages and cultures. You can always find me either running, biking, playing the cello, or reading.

Michael harris

I am a Junior, majoring in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience.
My areas of interest include studying emotion and corresponding neural activity, understanding how neurotransmitters influence our perception of the world, and the evolution of our neurochemistry. Aside from my studies, I enjoy reading, brainstorming future book ideas, meditation, slack-lining, finding new music, and attending music festivals.

shayna ellery

I am a psychology major in my senior year. I plan to attend graduate school to study behavioral analysis, with a focus on developmental disabilities. I joined the lab to expand my knowledge and make a contribution to research involving cognitive functioning. I have worked as a Behavioral Therapist for two years, providing ABA therapy to children with autism and other special needs. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with friends/family.

emily bauer

I am an undergraduate pursing a Psychology degree with a Neuroscience track. I wanted to join this lab to better my understanding of the research process in neuroscience. I hope to continue my studies and work towards a PhD, ultimately becoming a professional researcher and neuropsychologist. In my free time I like to spend time detoxing through hot yoga, hanging out with my cat, and reading