Thad Polk is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology and Associate Chair of Psychology.
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania (1992-1996)
Ph.D., Computer Science & Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University (1992)
Thad Polk’s research interests include: cognitive neuroscience; functional neuroimaging; computational modeling; neural networks; reading; unified theories of cognition.
In the Computational & Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, in which Polk is Principle Investigator, the goal of research is to understand the neural architecture that underlies cognition, that is, the set of (relatively) fixed neural structures and processes that give rise to cognition. What are the parts, how do they work, and how do they interact to produce the mind? Ultimately, the lab would like to understand how the cognitive architecture is determined (e.g., which aspects are genetic), how the architecture changes as a result of experience and normal aging, and how it normally functions (in sufficient detail that we can implement it computationally). To that end, the lab has adopted a multidisciplinary approach that combines neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral experimentation to make progress on these questions both theoretically and empirically.
Park J, Park DC, Polk TA (2013). Parietal functional connectivity in numerical cognition. Cerebral Cortex, (9):2127-35.
Jasinska AJ, Yasuda M, Rhodes RE, Wang C and Polk TA (2012). Task difficulty modulates the impact of emotional stimuli on neural response in cognitive-control regions. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:345.
Jasinska AJ, Ho SS, Taylor SF, Burmeister M, Villafuerte S, Polk TA (2012). Influence of threat and serotonin transporter genotype on interference effects. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:139.
Park J, Park DC, Polk TA (2012). Investigating unique environmental contributions to the neural representation of written words: A monozygotic twin study. PLoS One, 7(2):e31512.
Park J, Carp J, Kennedy KM, Rodrigue KM, Bischof GN, Huang CM, Rieck JR, Polk TA, Park DC (2012). Neural broadening or neural attenuation? Investigating age-related dedifferentiation in the face network in a large lifespan sample. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(6):2154-2158.