Kara Federmeier is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Program in Neuroscience at the University of Illinois, and a full time faculty member at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, where she leads the Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative. She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego in 2000. Research in her lab, the Cognition and Brain Lab, has been funded by the National Institute on Aging, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the James S. McDonnell Foundation. Kara received the Award for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Psychophysiology from the Society for Psychophysiology in 2006 and the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Young Investigator Award in 2010. In 2012, she was named a University Scholar and in 2013 a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Centennial Scholar. She was President of the Society for Psychophysiology (2017-2019). She is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the Psychonomic Society, and edits The Psychology of Learning and Motivation.
Electrophysiology (EEG, ERPs)
Certain sensory stimuli -- words, pictures, faces, environmental sounds -- seem to immediately and effortlessly bring to mind a rich array of knowledge that we experience as the "meaning" of those cues. Kara's research examines the neurobiological basis of such meaning, asking how world knowledge derived from multiple modalities comes to be organized in the brain and how such information is integrated and made available for use in varied contexts and often in only hundreds of milliseconds. Her research group uses human electrophysiological techniques in combination with behavioral, eye movement, and other brain imaging methods to examine how semantic information is structured as a function of modality and stimulus type, how it is brought to bear during language comprehension by younger and older adults, and how it is differentially accessed and used by the two hemispheres of the brain.
Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from the University of California at San Diego (2000)
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health
Fairbairn, C. E., Kang, D., & Federmeier, K. D. (2021). Alcohol and Neural Dynamics: A Meta-analysis of Acute Alcohol Effects on Event-Related Brain Potentials. Biological Psychiatry, 89(10), 990-1000. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2020.11.024
Federmeier, K. D. (Accepted/In press). Connecting and considering: Electrophysiology provides insights into comprehension. Psychophysiology. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13940
Federmeier, K. D. (Ed.) (2021). The Psychology of Learning and Motivation. (Psychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory; Vol. 74). Academic Press Inc.
Hubbard, R. J., & Federmeier, K. D. (2021). Dividing attention influences contextual facilitation and revision during language comprehension. Brain Research, 1764, . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2021.147466
Hubbard, R. J., & Federmeier, K. D. (2021). Representational Pattern Similarity of Electrical Brain Activity Reveals Rapid and Specific Prediction during Language Comprehension. Cerebral Cortex, 31(9), 4300-4313. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab087