CMBC Faculty and Staff


Director, Center for Mind, Brain, & Culture
Professor of Psychology
(404) 727-0766


Lynne Nygaard is the Director of the CMBC and Professor of Psychology at Emory University.   She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Brown University in 1991. She was a NIH Postdoctoral Trainee in the Department of Psychology at Indiana University and joined the Emory faculty in 1995.

Her research examines the perceptual, cognitive, biological, and social underpinnings of human spoken communication.  In particular, her research assesses the perceptual and cognitive flexibility found in language users across cognitive and social contexts and the types of experience that promote or inhibit behavioral and neural plasticity.  Her laboratory uses a variety of methodologies including behavioral assays, eye tracking, linguistic and acoustic analyses, and neuroimaging.  

Dr. Nygaard has published over 50 research articles, reports, and chapters in journals ranging from Psychological Science to Brain and Language, Cognition, and Cognitive Science.  She is the editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Speech Perception, Second Edition (Wiley, 2018), with Jennifer Pardo, David Pisoni, and Robert Remez.  She has received grants from the National Institue on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and the National Eye Insitute (NEI).  In addition to serving as associate editor and on the editorial boards of several journals, she was elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2012. 

Dr. Nygaard’s Emory homepage is available here.



Associate Director, Center for Mind, Brain, & Culture 
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology


Dietrich Stout is Associate Director of the CMBC and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory University. He received his Ph.D. in Paleoanthropology in 2003 from Indiana University, Bloomington, where he studied with Nicholas Toth and Kathy Schick. He served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at George Washington University for 1 year and as a Lecturer (equivalent U.S. Asst. Prof.) in Paleolithic Archaeology at the University College London Institute of Archaeology for 4 years before relocating to Emory in 2009.

His research focus on Paleolithic stone tool-making and human brain evolution integrates methods ranging from archaeological survey, excavation, and artifact analysis to experimental tool replication, psychometric testing, and brain imaging. Dr. Stout has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications including articles in journals ranging from Science to Current Anthropology, The Journal of Human Evolution, and The Journal of Neuroscience.

Dr. Stout's laboratory webpage is available here.



Professor, Center for Mind, Brain, & Culture 



Robert N. McCauley is William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor of Philosophy and was the Founding Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University (2008-2016).   He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1979. His research examines the philosophy of science (especially the philosophy of psychology and cognitive science), the cognitive science of religion, and naturalized epistemology. He is the author of Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not (Oxford University Press, 2011), which explores a variety of startling consequences that follow from a comparison of the cognitivefoundations of science and religion.  He has also written Rethinking Religion: Connecting Cognition and Culture (Cambridge University Press, 1990), Bringing Ritual to Mind: Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and Philosophical Foundations of the Cognitive Science of Religion:  A Head Start (Bloomsbury, 2017) – all with E. Thomas Lawson. He is the editor of The Churchlands and Their Critics (Blackwell Publishers, 1996) and the co-editor of Mind and Religion: Cognitive and Psychological Foundations of Religiosity (AltaMira Press, 2005). Dr. McCauley is also the author of nearly one hundred articles, chapters, and papers.

He has received grants or fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Academy of Religion, the Council for Philosophical Studies, and The John Templeton Foundation. In addition to serving on more than a half dozen editorial boards and executive boards of professional societies, he was elected as president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for 1997-1998 and as president of the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion for 2010-2012.  Dr. McCauley received the Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996 and was recognized for his outstanding teaching in 1997 by the American Philosophical Association.  Professor McCauley was named the inaugural Massee-Martin/National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor at Emory (1994-1998), and he served as the Director of the Emory College Center for Teaching and Curriculum from 2001 to 2004. Dr. McCauley writes a blog for Psychology Today entitled Why Religion Is Natural and Science Is Not A Naturalist Examines the Cognitive and Cultural Foundations of Religion, Science, and More

Dr. McCauley's Emory homepage is available here. View his website here.




Program Coordinator


Tamara Beck is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture at Emory University. She holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and has attended the Art Institute of Atlanta.

Tamara has been an Emory employee in various roles since 1995, and just celebrated her 10 year service milestone.



Assistant Program Coordinator

Leslie joined the CMBC as the Assistant Program Coordinator in Spring 2018. She lives in Grant Park with her husban Don, son Will, small dog and a chicken. Her daughter Lucy attends Georgia Tech. She's excited to work with the fine folks at Emory to provide some work-work balance, to her public service on the Atlanta Board of Education.



Sheyenne Reyes


Sheyenne is a freshman at Emory University who intends to major in nursing. She is from Snellville, Georgia and loves being outdoors and playing sports with friends. She is excited to work with and learn from the CMBC staff this year.