I am an assistant professor in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising in the College of Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
I conduct research in two main areas:
First, I investigate the role of attention in multimedia processing and media multitasking. My current work in this area uses functional neuroimaging and behavioral measures to explore how cognitive load, perceptual load, and motivation in digital environments can modulate attention networks in the brain, and how these modulatory effects can be harnessed to develop novel treatments for cognitive processing disorders such as ADHD. This project has resulted in a recently published introduction to network neuroscience methods (Link), a systematic review (Link) and theoretical update (Link) to the Limited Capacity Model of Motivated Mediated Message Processing (LC4MP), as well as a recent publication investigating the modality-specific nature of perceptual load during media processing (available here).
I also study theoretical and methodological issues surrounding the extraction and analysis of moral content in news, movies, and other media texts. This project involves the use and development of computational social science tools including natural language processing, machine learning, and nonrelational database management. Current work in this area is aimed at understanding the reciprocal relationship between news and events using Hidden Markov Models (Link), building an updated dictionary for the processing of moral information in large textual corpora, exploring novel measures of framing based on network analytic approaches, and building and maintaining a large open-source database for the analysis of news data from around the world. We recently introduced the Extended Moral Foundations Dictionary (eMFD), a dictionary-based tool for extracting moral content from textual corpora, and iCoRe (Link), a tool for Communication researchers to interface with the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT).