Carnegie Mellon University

David Plaut

David Plaut

Professor, Psychology


I'm a Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University with a joint appointment in the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. My research involves using computational modeling, complemented by empirical studies, to investigate the nature of normal and disordered cognitive processing in the domains of high-level vision, reading and language, and semantics. My modeling work is cast within a connectionist or neural network framework, in which cognitive processes are implemented in terms of cooperative and competitive interactions among large numbers of simple, neuron-like processing units. These models can provide insight into how cognitive processes are implemented in the brain, and how disorders of brain function lead to disorders of cognition. I'm particularly interested in studying the effects of damage in connectionist networks as a way of understanding the nature of cognitive impairments that can arise following brain damage, and in exploring ways of retraining damaged networks to inform patient rehabilitation. I'm also interested in the implications of connectionist learning principles for the nature of normal and abnormal cognitive development. 


Complete List of Publications