Mind at Large




Paul Seli, PhD

Principal Investigator

Paul is an Assistant Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. Beginning in 2010, he worked at the University of Waterloo (Canada) under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Smilek, earning his Master’s degree in 2012 and his PhD in 2015. For his outstanding dissertation and graduate career, Paul received the coveted Governor General's Gold Medal. Paul then moved on to complete a two-year Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University (Department of Psychology) with Dr. Daniel L. Schacter.

Contact: paul.seli@duke.edu

Samuel Murray, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

Samuel is a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. Before coming to Duke, he earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame in philosophy. His work focuses on the psychology of acting over time and how vigilance interacts with attention, memory, and control to facilitate temporally extended agency. Additionally, he works on normative questions of moral responsibility--especially responsibility for negligence--and has an abiding interest in the history of early modern philosophy.

Contact: samuel.murray@duke.edu

Nick Brosowsky, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate

Nick is a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University. Originally from Winnipeg (home to cold winters, the Winnipeg Jets, and John K. Samson), he earned his BA from the University of Manitoba and PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Nick's research interests include adaptive cognitive control (How do people learn to ignore distractions?), skill-learning (How do people learn to play a musical instrument?), inattention (Why do people mind wander?), and creativity (How does flexible control facilitate creativity?).

Contact: nick.brosowsky@duke.edu

Anna Smith

Doctoral Student

Anna is a first year Psychology & Neuroscience Ph.D. student at Duke University. After receiving her B.A. in Cognitive Science from Carleton College, Anna moved to Southern California, where she spent two years working with Dr. Michael Yassa in UC Irvine's Department of Neurobiology & Behavior on studies of episodic memory mechanisms and performance trajectories associated with healthy and disordered aging. She hopes to tie in her previous work on the nature of episodic and semantic representations, her love for interdisciplinary science, and a personal drive to create and consume art, to pursue a body of research that illuminates stages and conditions of the creative process. Anna also serves as Co-director and Instructor for Duke Neurosciences Camp, a residential summer camp for high schoolers.

Contact: anna.p.smith@duke.edu

Nathan Liang

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nathan is a third-year undergraduate at Duke University majoring in psychology and double-minoring in neuroscience and philosophy. His research interests currently include morality, religiosity and spirituality, language, imagination, creativity, and mind-wandering, and he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology or neuroscience after graduation. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, he is a fan of colder weather, an avid soccer player, a charcoal artist on hiatus and a lover of small animals, particularly hamsters.

Contact: nathan.liang@duke.edu

Cynthia Thomas

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Cynthia is a fourth-year undergraduate at Duke University, majoring in psychology and minoring in visual and media studies, integrating the two toward a concentration in consumer behavior and marketing technologies. Her research interests include creativity, the role of emotions in purchasing patterns, decision making, and mind wandering. In her free time, she likes to watch music videos, drive along byways, and try new foods.

Contact: cynthia.g.thomas@duke.edu

Lois Triplett

Lab Manager

Lois is the lab manager for the Mind at Large lab at Duke University. She is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in psychology. Her research interests are varied and generally revolve around the beliefs we hold and how they shape our behavior, including specifics such as decision making, persuasion, and propaganda, particularly in the contexts of new media and technologies. In her free time, Lois enjoys an assortment of nerdy pastimes including playing role-playing games, writing historical fiction, and binging pop culture in all its forms.

Contact: lois.triplett@duke.edu