Melinh K. Lai

Cognitive science - Cognitive psychology - Language comprehension - ERPs 

Starting in Fall 2023, I am an Assistant Instructional Professor and the Program Coordinator for the undergraduate major in Cognitive Science at the University of Chicago. I'll be teaching a variety of courses in the Cognitive Science Program while also helping to develop new programs and resources for students in the major. Check back soon for updates on teaching and advising students interested in cognitive science.

In 2023, I earned my PhD in psychology, with a specialty in cognitive psychology, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where I worked primarily with Dr. Kara Federmeier in the Cognition and Brain Lab. My research was mainly in language comprehension processes and the predictions we make as we make sense of language. I'm also interested in how these predictions involve and interact with other cognitive processes, such as memory and attention. I primarily studied these concepts with event-related potentials, otherwise known as ERPs. You can read more about my research and find a list of publications and presentations by going to my Research page.

Prior to my graduate studies, I earned my Bachelor's degree in Biology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Science at Rutgers University, where I completed my honors thesis on the utility of prosodic cues for predicting syntactic structure with Dr. Karin Stromswold. Following graduation, I worked as a full-time research assistant and lab manager at Johns Hopkins University under the direction of Dr. Akira Omaki.