Russell Costa
Russell Costa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
B.A. Middlebury College
M.S. University of Utah
Ph.D. University of Utah

Areas of Experience

  • history and philosophy of science, esp. postpositivism and cognitive science
  • attention and perception
  • cognitive control, inhibition, task switching and multitasking; polysensory integration
  • interdisciplinary approaches to studying consciousness and phenomenology
  • science in society; methodological, ethical, and pedagogical issues in science
  • About Russell Costa, Ph.D.

    My experimental research uses approaches from experimental psychology, cognitive science, and theoretical/computational neuroscience to study the dynamic control of attention. In particular, I am interested in how we switch attention between and divide attention among multiple tasks and how we ignore irrelevant, distracting information. Our lab's most recent work uses behavioral (response time [RT] and accuracy) and brain-based (electroencephalography [EEG], event-related potential [ERP] and neural oscillation) measures to examine how we attend to and inhibit visual information and how we switch and/or divide our attention between visual, auditory, and (most recently) olfactory tasks.

    I also teach and write about issues pertaining to science in society, particularly issues concerning the methodology, ethics, history, and philosophy of science. Most recently I've been working on problems associated with how various methodological and statistical practices affect knowledge growth in the social, behavioral, and brain sciences.

    Originally from the Boston area, I first came to the Wasatch via Vermont to ski and then soon returned for graduate school. Outside of the classroom and lab, I enjoy skiing and mountaineering in the mountains of Utah and beyond, cycling, experimenting with chile peppers in the garden and kitchen, rooting for Boston and U of U sports, and spending as much time as I can wandering in the desert with my dog.