New Faculty
Joo-Hyun Song Assistant Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University

Joo-Hyun Song
Assistant Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences

By Anne Coyle  |  September 1, 2010  |  Email to a friend

Joo-Hyun Song has real-life knowledge of the power of learning motor skills. As a child, she rose early in the morning to ice-skate, a routine familiar to any child who hopes to be a competitive skater. “Even though, I have not skated for years,” Song says, “my body can still remember how to do it.”

Those experiences would later provide the starting point for her research into how movement and vision coordinate, allowing us to reach for specific objects.

“My advisor and I were discussing how humans can focus on an object and then through thought and movement reach for it,” Song said. “We talked about many amazing skills of different athletes and my ice skating experience.”

That conversation evolved into Song’s research into how vision and motor actions combine in various selection tasks. Song will continue this research as an assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences.

Song received a B.A. and M.A. in psychology from Seoul National University in Korea. She then attended Harvard University, where she received an A.M. and Ph.D in psychology.

What interests Song especially is how humans routinely achieve goal-oriented actions in typical real-world environments that include many distractions. There are higher level processes involved, and Song is working to identify those processes on a neural level.

“How we select a target and reach for it using hand and eye movements is especially interesting to me,” she said.

In her free time, Song enjoys oragami — the coordination of hand and eye movement raised to an art form — and the hunt for new and interesting oragami materials that leads her through art supply and stationery stores.

Song looks forward to meeting and working with her new faculty colleagues in “CLiPS” and to exploring the extended campus community. She has been impressed with the Brown University undergraduates she has already encountered and is excited to begin teaching.

She is a big fan of good ice cream, and she has already found very good suppliers on the East Side.