Michael E. Roberts
Associate Professor of Psychology
Psychology, Neuroscience, Neural networks, Visual learning, Anxiety, Memory, Emotion regulation
Michael Roberts has several areas of research interest, including: (1) He uses computer models/algorithmic solutions to investigate how we learn visual features, such as trees or other people, in the world. Humans are born with some of that ability, and some can be learned. Roberts is developing a neural network model to try to solve how the brain does that. He has solved the question for simple visual stimuli, and his goal is to apply the computer model to more complex stimuli. (2) He also is studying anxiety and how a person can recover from it. (3) He is researching memory and ways of learning categories.
Roberts also leads a new DePauw program that involves developing a new set of general education science courses for first-year students that is designed to interest students in various areas of science at an early stage of their college career. He and other faculty members teach short sessions on various science topics – such as neuroscience, plate tectonics, consciousness and others – to give students exposure to the variety available in the sciences. Early indication is that the classes have a positive effect on students in terms of interesting them more in what's available in the sciences.