Zenzi M. Griffin has worked as a Professor of Psychology and director of the Cognition and Communication Lab at The University of Texas at Austin since 2008. Her PhD is in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was one of the first researchers to study the relationship between what speakers look at and the timing of their speech when describing scenes.
“Eye tracking offers a wealth of measures that reflect different aspects of the mind and often correlate with other measures. For example, pupil dilation and galvanic skin response both vary with arousal and cognitive load. I think one of the greatest strengths is that information about gaze location can more intuitively support inferences about the contents of processing. For example, when a response takes more time and is more effortful in one condition than another, gaze location can distinguish between the difference stemming from, say, difficulty retrieving information about one particular object as opposed to difficulty deciding between multiple objects.”
Dr. Griffin has been particularly concerned with how people select words, order phrases, and the way that they manage (and mismanage) the timing of word retrieval. Recent work has examined the learning and retrieval of people’s names as well as language production in bilinguals and individuals with various language disorders. She occasionally teaches a graduate seminar on using eye trackers to study language processing.