2022 CSBBCS Vincent Di Lollo Early-Career Award Winner: Dr. Brendan Johns

Dr. Brendan Johns is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University, where he directs the McGill Cognitive Computing Laboratory. He is also an Associate Editor of the journal Behavior Research Methods. He obtained his Ph.D. in from Indiana University in the Departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Cognitive Science, and his undergraduate degree in Computing and Cognitive Science from Queen’s University.

The goals of the Dr. Johns’ research is to redefine the field of computational cognitive science through the development of new theoretical approaches to cognitive science grounded in modern machine learning and big data methodologies, with both theoretical and applied research prongs. The goal of his theoretical research prong is to understand the statistical underpinnings of the natural language environment, determine how humans learn this information, and to develop algorithms that can optimally learn and represent this information in a machine. The applied research prong uses the resulting knowledge-based intelligence systems to generate cognitive technologies that can be widely deployed, such as in the development of new automated clinical and educational computational tools.

Dr. Johns has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, many in top journals, such as Psychological Review, Cognitive Psychology, and Journal of Memory and Language, among others. His research has been awarded numerous awards, such as the Early Career Impact Award from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, article of the year award from CSBBCS/CPA, and the Marr Prize from the Cognitive Science Society.