Lab members form the word "perception" with their bodies

Principal Investigator

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Julia Strand Bio
Associate Professor of Psychology
Chair of Psychology
Office: Olin Hall 119
Phone: 507 222 5637

Julia Strand (B.A., Tufts University; PhD., Washington University in St. Louis) teaches courses including Introduction to Psychology, the Psychology of Spoken Words, and Sensation & Perception. Her research focuses on how humans are able to turn sensory information about speech into meaningful representations. Topics of research include how cognitive abilities influence language perception, what traits of words promote easy recognition, how word recognition abilities change with age, and how visual information (seeing the talker) influences language processing.


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Violet Brown ’17 Bio
Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology

Lab Manager

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Laurie Avila ’23
Educational Associate – Psychology
Office: Olin Hall 127
Phone: 507 222 4542

Laurie was a Psychology major with a minor in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies from Sugar Grove, Illinois. She graduated in 2023 and is now working as the Educational Associate of the Psychology Department and is working as a Lab Manager with the Perception Lab. In her free time she enjoys music (playing and listening), working out, and watching lots of movies.

Lab Members

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Salma Ali ’26

Salma is a cognitive science major and potential Spanish minor on the pre-medicine track from St. Paul, Minnesota. On campus, she’s involved in the Muslim Student’s Association(MSA) and Carleton’s Pre-Health Association(CPA), and works as a resident assistant. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching tv shows/movies, and spending time with friends!

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Alyssa Alvarez ’26

Alyssa is a current sophomore with interests that span from creative writing to data science. While she remains undecided in her major, she has a passion for social psychology and psychopathology. She is a Filipina born and raised in O’ahu, Hawai’i— two identities that significantly motivate her pursuits. When away from the lab, she enjoys anything outdoors-related: working at the Sustainability Office, trail running, leading environmental justice initiatives at the CCCE, or playing frisbee with friends.

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Emma Kutcher ’26

Emma is a prospective Psychology major and Neuroscience minor from South Florida. She loves social psychology and understanding human perception and connection. In her free time, she cooks (really well), and loves music and yoga.

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Chris Melo Mejia ’25

Hello Hello, My name is Chris Melo and I am a rising junior hailing from the beautiful state of Colorado! I am majoring in Psychology with a potential Neuroscience minor. I love to watch anime, play basketball, and hang out with friends.

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Tiffany Nyamao ’25

Tiffany is a Biology major and potential neuroscience minor on the pre-medicine track from Minneapolis, Minnesota. On campus, she is co-president of the African Carribean Association and a peer leader for the Office of Intercultural Life. For fun, she enjoys cooking a meal, learning to draw something, and going on an adventure.

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Annanya Sinha ’25

Annanya Sinha is a prospective Psychology major and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies minor from Calcutta, India. They are interested in the confluence of psychopharmacology and societal influences that construct human habits. On campus, they work as an ISL peer leader and Behavioral Neuroscience prefect. For fun, they enjoy basking in the sunshine (yes, like a cat), making art, watching horror/sci-fi films, exploring the great outdoors, and petting fluffy dogs.

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Amadou Toure ’25

Amadou is a prospective Computer Science major and Biochemistry minor on the pre-medicine track from Dakar, Sénégal. He speaks English, French, and Wolof. Outside of academics, he enjoys reading, gaming, practicing karate, and playing football (or what some call “soccer”). Being born and having done High School in Houston, TX, he is also a huge fan of the Houston Rockets, and of Liverpool FC in the English Premier League.