Joshua Cetron

I am a cognitive neuroscientist and a doctoral student with Mina Cikara in the Harvard Intergroup Neuroscience Laboratory in Department of Psychology at Harvard. In my research, I seek to characterize the neural and psychological mechanisms that support processes critical to human engagement with the world, such as information acquisition and concept learning in laboratory, classroom, and social settings.

I began my current work as a Ph.D. student with Mina Cikara at Harvard in 2018. In my work with Dr. Cikara, I am interested in applying the multivariate analytical methods I have been developing to investigate topics in cognitive and social psychology and neuroscience that are especially salient in today’s increasingly polarized sociopolitical climate. These topics include the impact of intergroup biases on evidence-based learning and the representational confusability of facts and opinions.

Prior to joining Dr. Cikara’s lab, I received my B.A. in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College in 2016, with minors in Education and Spanish. As an undergraduate at Dartmouth and for two years afterwards as a full time research assistant, I worked with David Kraemer in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning Laboratory in the Education Department at Dartmouth, in affiliation with the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. In my work with Dr. Kraemer, I used a combination of neuroimaging, behavioral, and classroom-based research to explore the multivariate neural representations associated with concept learning in STEM domains. I have been developing analytical methods to characterize the ways in which the brain supports the knowledge that students acquire in the classroom. This work has resulted in my ongoing collaborations with Dr. Kraemer, as well as collaborations with Adam Green at the Georgetown Laboratory for Relational Cognition (Georgetown University).

When I’m not doing science, I’m often making music! And occasionally, I build guitars.