Lab director

Rachel Wu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Dr. Wu received two Bachelor’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters from University College London, and a PhD from Birkbeck, University of London. She also has a Fine Arts degree from Middlesex University. Dr. Wu’s research focuses on learning and attention to maximize cognitive agility from infancy to aging adulthood. In her free time, she paints, sculpts, plays the violin and piano, and sings. [CV]

Graduate students and graduate collaborators

Leah Ferguson

Leah graduated from CSU Monterey Bay in 2017 with a BA in Psychology. She worked as a lab manager with Dr. Wu for two years before entering the PhD program for Developmental Psychology in 2021. Her research aims include increasing accessibility to technology training and online learning for diverse learners via interventions and community programs. Her long-term goal is to work within communities to improve resources for learning opportunities and develop adaptable training and support programs for learners across the lifespan. Outside of academics,  Leah enjoys picking up new hobbies, playing videos games, and spending time with her partner and dogs.

Austin Moon

Austin graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2017 with a B.S. in Cognitive Sciences and a B.A. in Education Sciences. His research interest includes visual search, attention, and perceptual learning using computational modeling, EEG, and deep learning techniques. During his spare time, he likes playing video games, learning how to play the keyboard, and working out with his two cats.

Tania Rodriguez

Tania majored in Psychology at Cal State Fullerton. She is interested in cognitive aging and learning in adulthood to delay or even prevent cognitive decline in underrepresented populations. Her hobbies include watching crime documentaries, going on nice walks with her sister, spending time with family, and cooking Mexican food.

Bethany Tavenner

Bethany graduated from Baylor University in 2019 with a BS degree in Neuroscience. She is interested in researching how people’s cognition changes as they age and the neural correlates of cognition using multi-modal imaging techniques. She is an advocate of reproducible and open-data scientific principles. In her spare time, Bethany enjoys spending time with family, being outside, woodworking, wheel-throwing pottery, and cuddling her cat.

Isadora Farias

Isadora graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Public Health. Her research interests are learning in older adulthood to enhance cognitive aging and prevent decline, targeting ethnic minorities. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction books, taking walks in the sun, and watching live music.

Tina Vo

Tina is a PhD candidate in developmental psychology. She is interested in examining the gene and environmental interplay between sleep and cognition and additional differential effects due to age, health, and socioeconomic status. She utilizes behavioral genetic approaches (e.g., biometrical twin designs, polygenetic scores) to examine sleep as a moderator of genetic and environmental influences that may underlie individual differences in cognitive aging. In Tina’s free time, she enjoys baking, running, and going to Disneyland.


Graduate student collaborators:
Laura Quinones-Camacho (UT Austin)
Shirley Leanos Moreno (Riverside County)
Pamela Sheffler (Landmark College)

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