Christopher Erb

CMND Lab Director, Senior Lecturer

Chris graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2010 with a major in psychology and a minor in philosophy. He then completed a PhD in cognitive science in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University in 2015. Following graduate school, he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2018, he joined the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland where he now teaches developmental psychology and directs the CMND Lab. [CV]

Max Gurr

PhD Student

Max completed his BE(hons)/BSc conjoint in 2022 with majors in software engineering and cognitive psychology. In 2023, he joined the CMND lab as a research assistant and then as a PhD student. Max is interested in the use of virtual reality as an immersive and ecologically valid psychological testing tool. Supervised by Chris Erb, Reece Roberts, and Matthew Egbert, Max will be using virtual reality to investigate memory effects of continuous, real-life experiences.

Sam Morrison

PhD Student

Sam completed her Bachelor of Science (Hons) at the University of Auckland in 2019 and is currently a PhD student in the CMND lab. Sam is also a research assistant at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute where she contributes to the development of an AI infant, BabyX. Broadly, Sam is interested in human cognition and its development across the lifespan, particularly in the areas of cognitive control and learning, and has an interest in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Sam is co-advised by Paul Corballis, director of the Cognitive Psychophysiology Lab, and Matthew Egbert from the School of Computer Science.

Daniele Scanzi

PhD Student

Daniele completed his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Communication at the University of Milan – Bicocca in 2018. He joined the University of Auckland in 2021 as an Honours student. He is now starting a PhD working with Paul Corballis, director of the Cognitive Psychophysiology Lab, and is co-advised by Christopher Erb. He is interested in investigating the neural correlates of consciousness using EEG, eye-tracking and whatever other machinery he can get his hands on. He has a second identity as a magician and his assistant is a tiny blue plunger.

Katie Smith

PhD Student

Katie joined the lab as an Honours student in 2019. Katie’s research focuses uses a variety of techniques, including hand tracking, eye tracking, and electroencephalography (EEG), to study the dynamics of inhibitory control across development. She is co-advised by Paul Corballis, director of the Cognitive Psychophysiology Lab.

Sean Vartiainen

DClinPsy Student

Sean joined the lab in 2021 as an Honours student after completing a BA in psychology and English literature. Sean’s main area of interest is how neurodivergence affects online cognitions and what this can tell us about learning disabilities. Sean is now pursuing a degree in Clinical Psychology and conducting research on the benefits of play for adults.

Dana Lee

MSc Student

Dana joined the CMND lab as an Honours student in 2022 after completing a BA in psychology and criminology. Dana’s Honours project used Virtual Reality to measure the dynamics of attention and cognitive control in adults. Her Masters project also uses Virtual Reality to investigate the automaticity of perspective-taking.

Kai Mutemeri

MSc Student

Kai completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016. She spent three years working as a mental health counsellor before completing her postgraduate diploma in 2020. Kai’s current research focuses on developmental differences in the allocation of visual attention.

Jay Xin

MSc Student

Jay joined the CMND lab as an Honours student in 2022 after completing BSc in psychology. Jay’s Honours research used motion tracking to study how emotional valence influences cognitive control in a version of the Stroop task that uses faces and words. His Masters research is further exploring the links between emotion and inhibition in Virtual Reality tasks.

Alex Nicholson

Honours Student

Alex joined the CMND lab in 2022 while completing a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Alex has a BA and LLB (Hons) and has worked for the last 20 years in law, but is now interested in human cognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence, in particular the interplay of automatic and controlled processes in decision-making. Alex is currently conducting research investigating the links between curiosity, personality, and cognitive control.

Huseina Thanawala

MSc Student (Completed 2023)

Huseina has recently joined the lab as a Masters student after completing a Conjoint degree in Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce. Her research focuses on understanding how teleological and mechanistic theories influence causal ascriptions.

Inanna Haddon

MSc Student (Completed 2023)

Inanna joined the CMND Lab as a Masters student in 2022 after completing her Bachelor of Science (Hons) in neuroscience and psychology. Her research uses electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the developmental trajectories of cognitive control and frontal-midline theta brainwave oscillations. Inanna is co-advised by Ian Kirk, co-director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging, Neuroplasticity and Neurodevelopment Laboratory. 

          View our past lab members here