Humboldt State University

Department of Psychology

Cognition Lab

Cognition Lab: Think about it

Principle Investigator: Dr. Mari Sanchez

Dr. Sanchez is a cognitive psychologist who specializes in speech perception, production, and memory.

Dr. Sanchez’s primary research challenges traditional notions of speech by investigating the importance of visual speech information. When people think of speech, they typically think of it as something that you hear. However, her research has shown that it is also something that you see. In fact, people alter the way they speak after lip-reading from a talker’s speaking face. Specifically, people will end up sounding like the talker whose voice was never heard, but whose face was lip-read. These results suggest that information about the way a person speaks is transmitted in both the auditory and visual streams. This research enlarges the disciple and calls for a greater understanding of visual speech information, which is an understudied area.

Dr. Sanchez’s secondary research concerns the social aspects of speech, such as gender and dialect. She has found implicit links between words and gender-based social beliefs using a modified Implicit Association Test (IAT). Specifically, she found that people are sensitive to differences in the distribution of words (frequency) and the people who say these words most often (by gender), demonstrating changes in representation due to social constructs. In addition, she has found that social context and experience shape dialectal influences of speech representations. Specifically she found that when placed in an Australian context (conversational or primed with Australian words), New Zealanders adopt Australian-like speech characteristics.

The CogLab uses datacamp to support student data training in R. 


Research Opportunities

Dr. Sanchez looks forward to continuing her current lines of research and see them evolve with student input. She looks forward to supporting students by giving them opportunities to experience science in action by assisting with one of Dr. Sanchez’s projects or pursuing their own lines of research.


Principal Investigator:
Dr. Sanchez
Office Phone: 707-826-3748
Office: BSS 426

Lab Managers:
Ben Chu

Josue Rodriguez 


Research Assistants

Stephanie Byers
Ana Beltran-Castillo
Ben Chu
Joseph A. Camarena
Harrison DaMant
Harrel Deshazier
Jeramy Freimuth
Kyra Kelly
Olivia Kuljian
Ben Hernandez
Caitlin Mace
Cassady McLaughlin
Karla Moreno
Taryan Parvis
Josue Rodriguez
Katie Schoonover
Scott Strong
Dylan Tandoi-Garr
Summer Thornfeldt
Nick Vasquez
Alexis Westrom
Zhelin Wu