Dr. Jackie Berry is a Cognitive Scientist studying visual perception, human-computer interaction, and the development of expertise. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Master of Science in Human Factors Psychology, a Master of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Cognitive Psychology. She was the first person in the Psychology department to collect online research data at her home institution of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the first African-American to graduate with a Doctorate in Cognitive Psychology from the State University of New York at the University in Albany. Some of her major research projects have included developing a new model of geometric feature detection in English letter recognition, which she accomplished by developing and running a test server in her own home, studying task switching in older adults, and investigating whether attention during visual search is captured purely based on visual differences within search displays.
A joint Teaching and Research scholar, Dr. Berry is delighted to train young minds to become future scientists. Last semester at the American University in Cairo, she taught Research Methods in Psychology to new psychology majors with an interactive style that drew upon many real-world examples. In her From Novice to Expertise Course, a senior seminar currently underway, students must learn how to learn to become experts by developing their own personal skills challenges and then applying the theories learned in class and tracking their progress over the course of the semester. At the end of the semester each student will submit a case study documenting their progress and complete a demonstration of his or her skills challenge. Recently her work has turned towards studying the impact of people switching between interfaces when they use technology day-to-day. Jackie uses Tetris as an experimental paradigm to study TetLag which is the brief dip in performance caused by switching between two well-learned interfaces, e.g. iPhone and Android, to complete the same task. As a part of her Fulbright U.S. Scholar award Dr. Berry is investigating whether Arabic-English biliterates will be better able to switch between different interfaces and configurations for the same task because they must regularly alternate between different orientations of text in reading, writing, and technology use in their daily lives.