People

Current lab members: (lab director, mascot, Phd students, masters students, & undergraduate research scholars)

Michael C. Hout (Lab Director): I attended the University of Pittsburgh for my undergraduate degree, in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. There, I received a BS in Psychology, with a minor in Neuroscience. In 2006 I moved to Tempe, AZ to attend Arizona State University, where I received my MA and PhD in Psychology, working with Dr. Stephen Goldinger. Outside of work I try to remain very active.  I’ve played ice and roller hockey since I was 8 years old, including four years for the University of Pittsburgh, and two seasons for the Phoenix Dragons in the American Inline Hockey League (AIHL). Now, I play just recreational roller hockey. I also enjoy running, cycling, hiking, swimming, and skating. And my favorite thing to do is go on little adventures with my wife, Grisel, and our dog, Penny.  

Megan H. Papesh (Lab co-Director): Megan grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Baldwin-Wallace College for her bachelor’s degree before moving to Tempe, Arizona to get a master’s and PhD at Arizona State University. She worked at Louisiana State University for 8 years before joining the Department of Psychology faculty at New Mexico State University. Her research explores basic and applied questions in cognition and cognitive neuroscience, including the dynamic modulation of attention, how people learn and remember, and the challenges of face perception/recognition. Megan uses multiple methods in her research, such as behavioral responding, mouse-tracking, eye-tracking, pupillometry, and (with external collaborators) single-cell neural recording. Since earning her PhD, Megan’s research and teaching efforts have been recognized in several ways, including the Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science, early career rainmaker award, and several undergraduate teaching awards. Outside of academic pursuits, she enjoys spoiling her dog, hiking, and cooking. Contact: mpapesh@nmsu.edu. Website: https://www.meganpapesh.com/

Penny: lab mascot, designated “Science Dog”, and the best of all of us. She’s the sweetest pup in world, a rescue and mix of cattle dog and pit. She likes long walks, longer naps, cuddles, and making people happy. Her career aspirations include eventually catching a squirrel (to play with, not harm).

Jessica Madrid, PhD student. Jessica is currently a doctoral student who holds a BA and MA in Psychology from New Mexico State University. Her research interests include visual search and the ways that it interacts with memory, the use of cognitive strategies during search, executive control, object recognition, and the use of eye tracking to study these topics. In her free time, she likes to read, cook new recipes, play volleyball, and nap with her cat, Mouse.

Bryan White, PhD student. Bryan is currently a doctoral student who holds a BA in English from the University of New Mexico, an MA in Experimental Psychology, and is an author/coauthor on half a dozen published papers in various psychology journals. He is a student member of the Psychonomic Society, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and NMSU’s Graduate Student Association. When not studying psychology, Bryan is best characterized as an endurance predator of disparate arts and sciences, forever trying to satisfy his rapacious curiosity. His research interests include cognition, human factors and engineering psychology, visuospatial attention, haptics and proprioception, multidimensional scaling and similarity, and psycholinguistics.

Rebecca Penn, PhD student. Rebecca A. Penn is a PhD student who successfully defended her master’s thesis at the start of the spring 2020 semester. Her research interest is on applied instances of unmitigated visual attention and visual search with a particular emphasis on search and rescue. She has two dogs named Leika and Motley.

Eben Daggett, Masters student: Eben attended Carroll University in Southeast Wisconsin where he earned a dual B.S. in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Biochemistry. After college, he joined the Army where he served for 8 years. He eventually planted some loose roots in Boulder, Colorado where he works as a data scientist and AI researcher in the medical technology field. His research interests are centered around the role of perceptual similarity in selective attention, connectionist modeling of attentional phenomena like the Attentional Blink and Visual Search, and the utilization of psychometric techniques to increase the interpretability of artificial intelligence. In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing, mountain biking, backpacking and reading. His website is https://www.ebenwdaggett.com/.

Jonathan Ayavar, (now former) Discovery Scholars (undergraduate) student. Jonathan is a proud NMSU alumnus double-majoring in 3D Computer Animation, Visual Effects, and Computer Science. He was born and raised in Mexico, but is currently living in El Paso along with the rest of his family. For the past three years, he has been working with Dr. Hout and the rest of his team (at the AddisonCare Virtual and Augmented Reality Laboratory) to create virtual simulations for use in cognition research. He just graduated with his bachelors and would like to get into the animation industry or the video game industry. He remains a member of the lab, having been hired on as a Senior Computer Operator. In his free time, he likes to work on his own projects, learn new software, or just sit down in his bed and enjoy a movie. His website is: https://web.nmsu.edu/~ayavar/

ALUMNI

PhD students:

Arryn Robbins, PhD. Arryn received her PhD in 2018. She then moved on to be a post-doctoral researcher at Carthage College. And she currently works as a research psychologist at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Collin Scarince, PhD. Collin received his PhD in 2018. He then went on to become a post-doctoral researcher at Texas A&M Corpus Christi where he is now an Associate Professor.

Edin Sabic, PhD. Edin received his PhD in 2020. He is currently the Director of Research at Electronic Caregiver.

Masters students:

Casey Tunstall. Casey got her masters degree in 2014. She is now a Human Factors Engineer at INQU LLC.

Ryan Sams. Ryan got his masters degree in 2015. He is now an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Mexico.

Rebecca Skulsky. Becca finished her masters degree in 2021 and is on her way to a job in industry back on the east coast.

Building Research Advances in Neuroscience (BRAiN) student researchers (undergraduate):

Maggie Sabic. Maggie was a Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN) student in our lab and got her bachelor’s degree in 2016.

Julián Welsh. Julian was a Building Research Achievement in Neuroscience (BRAiN) student in our lab and got his bachelor’s degree in 2021.

Discovery Scholars Researchers (undergraduate):

Garrett Bennett. Garrett was the first Discovery Scholars researcher in our lab.

Alexis Lopez. Alexis was a Discovery Scholars researcher in our lab and continued to collaborate with us after she got her bachelor’s degree in 2016.

John Desgeorges. John was a Discovery Scholars student in our lab and got his bachelor’s degree in 2019.

Sydney Luna. Sydney was a Discovery Scholars student in our lab and got her bachelor’s degree in 2019.

Rene Mcpherson. Rene was a Discovery Scholars student in our lab and got his bachelor’s degree in 2019. He is currently a masters student in the Psychology Department at NMSU.

Victoria Arvizu. Victoria was a Discovery Scholars student and got her master’s degree in 2020. She is currently a graduate student in Forensic and Legal Psychology at Marymount University.

Christine Dellefield-Lopez. Christine was a Discovery Scholars student and got her bachelor’s degree in 2020.

Mariana Cazares Rodriguez. Mariana was a Discovery Scholars student and got her bachelor’s degree in 2021.

NMSU Honors College undergraduate student researchers:

Emily Green. Emily was an NMSU Honor’s College student in our lab and got her bachelor’s degree in 2018.