Spencer Kelly, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, studied History at Washington University (St. Louis) and then received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Kelly co-directs the Center for Language and Brain, and has published over 30 scientific articles exploring the cognitive and social tools that people use to think, communicate and learn. A recent line of research on neural correlates of language learning has received funding from the National Science Foundation. His courses, Brain and Behavior and Cognitive Neuroscience, cover many aspects of perception, language and learning across multiple levels of analysis, from the biological to the psychological all they way to social level.
Professor of East Asian Languages, Yukari Hirata, got her bachelors degree in Psychology at the University of Tskuba in Japan and received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Hirata is the co-director of the Center for Language and Brain. Some of her research has been funded by National Science Foundation, and focuses on the challenges that students face—and overcome—when learning a new language. In addition to teaching Japanese language and culture, some of the topics covered in her Linguistics courses concern how old knowledge interferes with acquiring new knowledge and how learning a language can change the way people think about themselves and their world.
Douglas Johnson is currently serving as the director of Colgate's Center for Learning, Teaching and Research and is a member of Colgate's Department of Psychology. Dr. Johnson received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the Johns Hopkins University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health before joining Colgate's faculty. His research focuses on attention and memory, with an emphasis on the role of attention on the development of skilled performance. Professor Johnson has won multiple teaching awards at Colgate (The Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching and Student Engagement; Colgate Alumni Corporation Distinguished Teaching Award; Phi Eta Sigma Colgate Professor of the Year 2001), and he teaches at all levels of the curriculum, including, but not limited to, introduction to psychology, human cognition, a core course on the psychology of sport, and a seminar on attention and memory.