Lab director

Roger Beaty, PhD



My research broadly aims to understand how the brain flexibly combines information to generate solutions to complex problems. To this end, I study cognitive and neural systems that support creative thinking and related cognitive processes, as well as individual differences related to these cognitive abilities. Recent fMRI research examining brain networks underlying individual creative thinking ability was funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. I am currently pursuing additional grant support to extend this work, with the goal of developing tools to enhance creative thinking processes.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at Temple University, I earned my PhD in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), working with Paul Silvia. I completed my postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at Harvard University, working with Daniel Schacter. I joined the Department of Psychology at Penn State University as an assistant professor in the Fall of 2018.

CV | Google Scholar | ResearchGate

Lab Manager

James Lloyd-Cox




I completed a BSc in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Bristol, before later taking an MSc in Computational Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham (both in the UK). For a number of years I’ve been very interested in creativity as a major component of flexible, adaptive intelligence. I believe a clearer understanding of how brain regions interact in different tasks requiring creativity could lead to new methods of enhancing it, and potentially to new ways to build further flexibility into artificial cognitive systems.

I’m very excited to be part of the new CNCL here at Penn State!

Visiting Scholar

Emily Frith





I will receive a Ph.D. in Kinesiology-Health Promotion in May, 2019 from the University of Mississippi. I am also currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Mississippi. My research is focused on understanding potential associations between physical movement and exercise on creative thinking and problem-solving performance. I am very excited to contribute to the lab this summer, and become familiar with the methods employed to measure functional connectivity and brain network dynamics during various creativity assessments.

research assistants

Heather Olson




I'm Heather and I am a sophomore student majoring in psychology with a focus in life sciences. I am very passionate about mental health and intend to pursue a career in clinical psychology after graduate school! Outside of the lab, I am a Bunton Waller fellow and I am also involved in the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Sunny State Random Acts of Kindness Club.

Andrea Toro




I am a Junior at Penn State. My major is Psychology B.S. with a focus on Neuroscience and a Human Development & Family Studies (HDFS) minor. I am interested in cognitive psychology because of how research findings can aid people whose cognitive abilities have been damaged.