"Automaticity is not the absence of control, it is the optimization of control."
Research Interest(s): Planning and control of skilled action sequences
We are able to accomplish many routine behaviors (e.g., making a cup of coffee, tying our shoes, typing emails) without paying much attention to our actions or the objects we act on. The ease with which such tasks are accomplished belies their complexity: To type a word, the cognitive system must identify the appropriate letters, assign each keystroke to the appropriate finger, specify a location on the keyboard to direct each keystroke, dictate the order in which each keystroke will be executed, execute the keystrokes, and monitor various sources of feedback to verify the accuracy of the keystrokes.
My projects are focused around two central themes: Planning and control. The work I have conducted in planning focuses on how items (e.g., keystrokes) are activated, ordered, and packaged into motor programs. The work I have conducted on control focuses on dissociations and interactions between the explicit and implicit control processes that facilitate skilled performance, such as why attending to the details of skilled performance is disruptive, how explicit and implicit control processes utilize visual feedback, and the extent to which explicit control processes "know" what implicit control processes are doing.