Alexa Tompary 

I'm a cognitive neuroscientist interested in memory. I earned my PhD in psychology at New York University and completed my postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. I am currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Drexel University, where I lead the Memory and Concepts (MAC) lab. We use cognitive neuroscience approaches to study the relationship between episodic memory and concept knowledge. We additionally investigate how these forms of information interact and combine as a function of their neural bases.

Principal investigator, she/her

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Ryan O'Donnell

I’m a post-doc in the MAC Lab. I received my B.S. from Notre Dame and my Ph.D. from Penn State, where my research focused on how cognitive processes like visual working memory encoding and attentional selection during visual search update throughout a task according to an interaction of factors such as recent experience, prior knowledge, and developed expectations. I’m interested in expanding this research line into the formation of long-term memories, and explore the neural underpinnings of these memory modulations. I’m also an organizer for the Object Perception, Attention, and Memory (OPAM) conference, a satellite Psychonomics conference that provides a forum for early career researchers to disseminate their research to a community of Psychonomics attendees in avenues typically made unavailable to them by the main conference. I have two go-to fun facts: 1) The cool fact that I’ve been to the Galapagos Islands, and 2) the less fun fact that the first time I attended an academic conference, I had to navigate the experience with not one, but TWO broken feet. 

Kate Cliver

I received both my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Neuroscience from Temple University, in 2022 and 2023 respectively. My master’s project, with Dr. Vishnu Murty, focused on the stability of temporal order memory under high arousal states using naturalistic stimuli. Broadly, I am interested in how memories transform, adapt, and reorganize over time, leading to distortions. I look forward to using techniques like fMRI, TMS, and naturalistic stimuli to study these changes. Outside of research, I love to cook, hike, and [do my best at] quizzo!

PhD student, she/her

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Devayani Joshi

I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology, specializing in Behavioral Neuroscience, and minoring in Mathematics from Fairfield University in 2022. During my undergraduate studies, I focused on memory research, exploring how photography shapes our memories in the Memory Lab and investigating true and false memories using EEG technology in the Memory and Cognitive Neuroscience lab.

After graduating, I had the opportunity to work in the Digital Psychiatry Lab at Harvard Medical School, where I was involved in developing smartphone-based cognitive tests for individuals with schizophrenia. I'm passionate about understanding memory using different cognitive neuroscience techniques and am excited to continue my journey in this fascinating field. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading and exploring local parks!

PhD student, she/her

Google Scholar, LinkedIn

Weijia Cao 曹维佳

Hi, I am Weijia. I received my B.A. in Psychology and Statistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my M.A. in Psychology from New York University. During my master’s training, my research with Dr. David Poeppel focused on how different types of semantic relations influence memory performance. Generally speaking, my research interests lie in the mechanisms of memory and language, as well as the intersection between different cognitive processes. I speak Wu and Mandarin Chinese, English, and French. In my spare time, I love cooking, baking, urban hiking, and listening to a song repeatedly until I get bored of it.

Makayla Hamilton

Hi, I am Makayla. I am in my second year of my undergraduate degree at Drexel University, where I am majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Neuroscience. At Drexel University I am a part of Dr. Tompary's Memory and Concepts Lab, as well as Dr. Daly's Pediatric and Child/Adolescent Psychology Lab. My general interests in Psychology focus on the development of humans over their lifespan, and more specifically how the brain changes over the lifespan, and how those changes affect our behavior and perception. After graduating with my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology, I plan to go to graduate school, and eventually get my PhD. Aside from my interests in Psychology, I enjoy dancing, painting, baking, and crocheting.

Undergrad RA, she/her


Maddie Etheridge

Hi, I’m Maddie! I am a senior Neuroscience and Chemistry major at Haverford college. I have a particular interest in cognitive neuroscience which led me to the memory and concepts lab at Drexel! I also love organic chemistry and hope to pursue neurochemistry in the future. Outside of academics I love softball, hiking, and spending time doing anything outside!

Undergrad RA, she/her


Antonia Ackel

Hi there, I'm Antonia and I'm a third-year psychology major.  I work in Dr. Tompary's Memory and Concepts Lab at Drexel University. My general interest of study in psychology revolves around how thoughts and feelings interact to affect memory. I plan to pursue graduate school and earn a PhD in psychology after receiving my Bachelor of Science degree. In addition, I like to read, cook, play volleyball, and bargain store.

Undergrad RA, she/her


Alessandra Cerruto

Hi! My name is Alessandra Cerruto and I am a senior undergraduate student at Drexel. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Computer Crime. I am an aspiring child psychologist and my research interests align with child development and technology. Some fun facts, I am left-handed and was a softball pitcher for 12 years!

Undergrad RA, she/her