Western Kentucky University

Psychological Sciences - Sharon Mutter

Dr. Sharon Mutter

Dr. Sharon Mutter

University Distinguished Professor / Psychological Science M.A. Concentration Coordinator

Office:  GRH 3027
Phone:  270-745-4389
Email:  sharon.mutter@wku.edu

Research Interests

The ability to detect relationships between everyday events is a central aspect of human cognition. Are accidents more likely on this highway? Does this grocery store typically have the best prices? Is this person trustworthy? To answer questions such as these, individuals must acquire, either through direct or indirect experience, knowledge of the contingency and causal relations between two classes of events. For several years now, research in the Cognition Laboratory has focused on how age-related changes in basic learning and memory processes affect the acquisition and retrieval of contingency and causal knowledge. We are especially interested in determining when these changes do and do not impair older adults’ ability to judge probable cause and make accurate cue – outcome predictions.Until recently, research in the Cognition Lab has employed behavioral techniques to study age differences in contingency and causal learning; however, we are now beginning to explore how these differences are related to changes in the brain. In addition to increasing our understanding of the neural mechanisms that underlie this important form of human cognition, this new research direction will give students the opportunity to study the neuroscience of aging.

Courses taught

Undergraduate:

  • PSY 100 - Introductory Psychology
  • PSY 210 - Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSYS 405 - Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 410 - Psychology of Learning

Graduate:

  • PSY 500 - Trends and Scientific Approaches in Psychological Thinking: Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSY 504 - Advanced Research Methods in Psychology
  • PSY 511 - Psychology of Learning
  • PSY 523 - Advanced Topics in Cognition

Links

 Last Modified 11/18/13