Human communication at the intersection of cognitive science and data science

Apr. 19, 2017 from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. — Johnson Hall, room 102

Alexandra Paxton

Postdoctoral scholar, University of California, Berkeley; Moore-Sloan Data Science Fellow, Berkeley Institute for Data Science

Watch a recording of this seminar on YouTube.


Human communication is a rich, complex phenomenon, requiring people to carefully integrate a variety of behavioral signals over time. While traditional research on social interaction in cognitive science and psychology often necessitated time- and labor-intensive hand-coding, technological and computational advances are providing unprecedented new opportunities to expand the scale and scope of this research area. From using wearable technology to create low-cost motion tracking to tapping into real-world human behavior through existing datasets, researchers can take advantage of these new opportunities to analyze the dynamics of communication using a data-rich perspective.


A photo of Alexandra PaxtonDr. Alexandra Paxton is currently at the University of California, Berkeley as a postdoctoral scholar at the Institute of Cognitive and Brain Sciences and a Moore-Sloan Data Science Fellow at the Berkeley Institute of Data Science; she will be starting as an Assistant Professor in Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut in August 2018. Her research integrates cognitive science and data science to better understand human social communication as a dynamical system. She is also working with Drs. Tom Griffiths, Alison Gopnik, and Dacher Keltner (UC Berkeley) to create Data on the Mind, a community resource to help cognitive scientists and psychologists incorporate big data and naturally occurring datasets into theory-driven research.