Lab members

ParkJoonkoo Park, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Joonkoo (many call him Joon) is Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Commonwealth Honors College Faculty ( He is interested in studying what makes us human, in particular the emergence of uniquely human thinking. Most of his research lately is focused on the cognitive and neural underpinnings of our numerical concepts.
Carina Chan
Carina Chan is an undergraduate Psychology major with a Sociology minor. Her main interests are cognitive development and Developmental Disabilities and Human Services (DDHS). After graduation she hopes to pursue graduate school to become a Clinical or Developmental Psychologist. Carina loves to weight lift, spend time with friends and family, and draws during her free time.
DianaDiana Mendel
Diana Mendel is an undergraduate Psychology major and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College. Her main interests include studying cognitive development in both children with and without learning disabilities. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school to continue her studies and eventually transition into becoming a pediatric neuropsychologist and test children for learning disabilities. In her free time, Diana enjoys painting and going to the beach with friends.
GuerreroDiego Guerrero
Diego is a Fulbright Scholar and Ph.D. student in the Developmental Science Program. He is interested in the relationship between internal numerical representations and symbolic representations of number, using behavioral and neuroimaging measures.
EliEli Zaleznik
Eli is a Ph.D. student in the Developmental Science program. He uses neuroimaging and behavioral methods to measure how math anxiety affects cognitive processing. Specifically, he is interested in what the boundaries of “math” are for those with math anxiety and how viewing and manipulating numeric and mathematical items affect attention.
JennaJenna Croteau
Jenna is a PhD student in the Developmental Science program. She is interested in the representation of small numbers (i.e, 1, 2, and 3), and in particular, why the number one is acquired first in early child development. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.
Katie Burzynski
Katie is a project coordinator working on a variety of projects.
Marina Morcos
Marina is an undergraduate Psychology major on the Neuroscience Track. She is interested in how culture directly impacts one’s neural development and abstract concept acquisition. After graduation, Marina hopes to go into the medical field, working with children and underrepresented groups. In her free time, Marina enjoys listening to music, scenic drives, and spending time with friends and family.
MattMatt Gillespie
Matt is an undergraduate psychology major (neuroscience track) in the class of 2023. He is interested in the individual’s neural development and how it influences future outcomes. After completing his undergraduate degree, he plans to attend medical school and concentrate in neuroscience. Matt spends time with family and friends, boxes, and reads in his free time.
Victoria Schille
Tori is an undergraduate psychology major on the neuroscience track and a member of the Commonwealth Honors College. She is specifically interested in child development and learning disabilities. After graduation, Tori hopes to attend physician associate’s school and work with children in the medical field. In her free time, Tori enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and going on walks.

Lab Alum (trainees)

– Michele Fornaciai (Postdoc; now a Marie Curie Fellow at SISSA, Italy)
– Jihyun Hwang

Lab Alum (undergrads)

– Sam Casler (UMass)
– Nancy Cai (Smith College)
– Tim Noonan (UMass)
– Michael Kelberman (UMass)
– Amy Higgins (UMass)
– Abigail Farrell (UMass CHC)
– Courtney McMahon (UMass CHC)
– Bri Southwick (UMass)
– Brynn Boutin (Lab manager; UMass)
– Nicole Ayres (UMass CHC)
– Sami Waterhouse (lab manager; UMass)
– Camryn Boutin (UMass)
– Brianna Chamberlain (UMass)
– Jake Fahy (UMass)
– Olivia Comeau (UMass CHC)
– Heidi Brajak (UMass)
– Katherine Gao (UMass)
– Victoria Younes (UMass)
– Ally Kim (UMass)
– Dylan Morrow (UMass CHC)
– Emily Isaacs (UMass)