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Jan Andrews

Associate Professor of Cognitive Science

Janet (Jan) K. Andrews earned her AB from Bard College and her AM and PhD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a founding member of Vassar’s Cognitive Science Program (now Department) and teaches courses on introductory cognitive science, language, research methods, statistics and experimental design, and (occasionally) the cognitive science seminar (Cogs 311 topic for 2017b: Language, embodiment, and abstraction).

Her research interests concern the relationships between perception, language, and cognition. A long-term interest is in the structure and formation of category concepts and in the relationship between perceptual processes and abstract knowledge. Her research investigates these issues by examining the category learning behavior and perceptual judgments of adults, increasingly using the online platform Mechanical Turk. Much of her research is done in collaboration with Vassar colleagues Joshua de Leeuw and Ken Livingston and with Vassar cognitive science students. We have repeatedly found that learning novel object categories systematically alters how the objects are judged, but it is challenging to determine what causes the particular patterns of alteration that do or do not occur.