The Comparative Cognition Laboratory is a part of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at The University of Iowa. Our research concerns the experimental investigation of cognitive processes in adaptive behavior, with an overarching interest in comparing cognition in humans and nonhuman animals. Specific research topics include: category learning, cognitive flexibility, and same-different conceptualization. The evidence that we collect constantly surprises us and forces us to view human cognition in a fresh light. 

News and Announcements

Ellen O'Donoghue successfully defended her doctoral dissertation

Monday, December 12, 2022
She is now the most recent PhD from our lab.

Watch Liz Brannon's talk

Monday, December 12, 2022
Elizabeth Brannon, from the University of Pennsylvania, visited us on December 2nd and gave a colloquium titled Recent Investigations Characterizing the Development and Evolution of the Approximate Number System.
butterfly stroke Sieg

A Deep Dive into Innovation

Groundbreaking innovations may appear to be strokes of genius, but they are most often the product of context, consequence, and coincidence.

In The American Scientist (Jan-Feb 2023 issue) Ed Wasserman writes about how creative behaviors develop and how the invention of the butterfly stroke provides a case study for how an action that might seem natural was in fact developed (in Iowa!) through trial and error.

photo of victor with an alien

Meet Victor Navarro, one of our recent PhDs

Victor received his PhD in 2020, and is now a postdoctoral research associate at Cardiff University, UK.

He is working in developing mathematical models of Pavlovian conditioning that account for the acquisition and expression of reciprocal associations. 

Read our interview and learn more about him!