Faculty of Health

Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the mind and brain that sits at the intersection of traditional disciplines such as Linguistics, Psychology, and the Neurosciences, and with increasing applications in understanding and improving how humans interact with their environment. In the domain of linguistics we study the acquisition and mastery of written language, from childhood to adulthood, with a particular focus on the written language of digital communication, and its linguistic and social consequences.

We develop, implement and evaluate cognitive models, particularly with regard to learning, memory, and the quick decision tasks (e.g., decisions about the perceptual, language and values attributes) that are used to test performance across disciplines such as experimental and clinical psychology, marketing and the neurosciences. We have a particular focus on applied cognitive psychology, from ergonomics and human-machine interfaces to research on memory and decision making in settings including eyewitness identification, juror decision-making, security screening, video game play, and educational testing.

Research Areas

Major achievements or grants

  • ARC Discovery Project (2016-2018, DP160101891) Modelling human decision making in complex environments. (Contact: Andrew Heathcote).
  • ARC Discovery Project and Professorial Fellowship (2011-2015, DP110100234) Choice models for learning and memory. (Contact: Andrew Heathcote)
  • ARC Discovery Project (2015-2019, DP150100272) Developing a Unified Theory of Episodic Memory (Contact: Andrew Heathcote)
  • ARC Discovery Project (2014-2016, DP140103746) How feedback can impair recognition judgments and undermine border security, criminal investigations, educational testing, and medical screening. (Contact: Matt Palmer)
  • British Academy (2014-2015) Identifying how and why different recall tests affect subsequent learning of information. (Contact: Jim Sauer)

Key Information

Name: Cognitive Science

Established: 2015

Research group head:

Other staff:

Contact details:

Division of Psychology, Social Sciences Building, Sandy Bay, 7005, Tasmania, Australia

Telephone: +61 3 6226 1763

Email: andrew.heathcote@utas.edu.au

Research theme areas:


  • Decision-making
  • Eyewitness memory confidence
  • Videogames
  • Literacy
  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Development
  • Cognitive model
  • LBA
  • Diffusion model response time
  • Signal detection: compound decisions
  • Juror decisions
  • Psycholinguistics