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Aaron Buss

Aaron BussAaron Buss
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Iowa (2013)

Phone: 865-974-3818

Keywords: executive function, cognitive development, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience

Research Interests

My research aims to create an integrated understanding of the behavioral and neural dynamics of executive function over development.

Research statement

I study the development of executive function using a combination of behavioral, neural, and computational methods. The primary questions I address in my research center around how perception and action are integrated in a controlled, goal-directed fashion. Specifically, I use dynamic field theory, which is a class of dynamic systems models, to formally integrate behavioral and neural processes. The primary neuroimaging technique I use in my lab is Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) which allows for measuring functional neural activation in infancy and early childhood.

  • University of Iowa, Lewis Award in Experimental Psychology, 2013
  • Delta Center Conference Travel Award, 2011
  • Society for Research in Child Development Conference Travel Award, 2011
  • University of Iowa, J. R. Simon Early Scholarship Award, 2009
  • Cognitive Science Society Conference Travel Award, 2008
  • 2012    Integrating Perception and Action in a Neural Field Theory of Response Selection
    Agency: National Science Foundation
    Type of Grant: Research grant
    Role: Co-PI (Eliot Hazeltine, Tim Wifall, John Spencer)
    Period: 9/2012-5/2014
    Total Amount: $100,000

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Buss, A. T. and Spencer, J. P. (in press). The emergent executive: A dynamic field theory of the development of executive function. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development.
  • Johnson, J. S., Simmering, V. R., and Buss, A. T.(in press). Beyond slots and resources? Grounding cognitive concepts in neural dynamics. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics.
  • Buss, A. T., Wifall, T., Hazeltine, E., and Spencer, J. P. (2014). Integrating the behavioral and neural dynamics of response selection in a dual-task paradigm: A dynamic neural field model of Dux et al. (2009). Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26, 334-351.
  • Buss, A. T., Fox, N., Boas, D. A., & Spencer, J. P. (2014). Probing the early development of visual working memory capacity with functional near-infrared spectroscopy. NeuroImage, 85, 314-325.
  • Buss, A. T. and Spencer, J. P. (2012). When seeing is knowing: Visual cues and the dissociation between children's rule-knowledge and rule-use. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111, 561-569.
  • Spencer, J. P., Perone, S., and Buss, A. T. (2011). Twenty years and going strong: a dynamics systems revolution in motor and cognitive development. Child Development Perspectives. 5(4), 260-266.
  • Spencer, J. P. & Buss, A. T. (2011). Finding a way out: Why developmental science does not need another "ism". Child Development Perspectives, 5(3), 166-168.

Book Chapters

  • Buss, A. T., Wifall, T. & Hazeltine, E. (in press). The behavioral and neural dynamics of cognitive flexibility. In J. P. Spencer and G. S. Schöner (Eds.), Dynamic Thinking—A Primer on Dynamic Field Theory. Oxford University Press: New York, NY.
  • Spencer, J. P. & Buss, A. T. (2013). The emerging executive: Using dynamic neural fields to understand the development of cognitive control. In P. D. Zelazo & M. Sera (Eds.), The Minnesota Symposium on Child Psychology: Developing Cognitive Control Processes: Mechanisms, Implications, and Interventions, Volume 37 (pp. 91-142). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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