Anna Smith

Research Specialist
Office: 213 Qureshey Research Laboratory
Phone: (949) 824-0314


I began my work with Yassa Lab as a research assistant during the summer of 2016. After receiving a B.A. in Cognitive Science from Carleton College, I traded in my frigid winters for a return to Irvine as a research specialist. As such, I’ve been involved in neuroimaging data collection for the lab’s ongoing aging studies, developing and testing instruments, and mentoring undergraduates. My current projects include developing a task to assess pattern separation in individuals with Down Syndrome,  looking at how temporal context might lead to differential episodic memory retrieval patterns, and on top of that, trying to learn some Bayesian hierarchical modeling with the help of the fabulous Prof. Michael Lee in the cognitive science department. My research interests are in relating cognitive models to their underlying neurobiological mechanisms. I’m especially drawn to topics with an interdisciplinary scope, particularly in the realms of embodied cognition research and translational medicine. Outside of the lab, I enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons, illustration, trail running, and venturing down YouTube rabbit holes.

I’m known to the 3D Printing center as the “Brain Girl,” because I’ve printed so many of my labmates’ MRI scans. Based on this Instructables article, I made an even more comprehensive step-by-step resource here: 3DPrintBrain

Awards and Honors

2017     Alternate Finalist to Norway, The Fulbright Program
2017     Associate Member, Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society
2016    Kolenkow-Reitz Fellowship, Carleton College


  • Galotti, Kathleen M., Schneekloth, Michael J., Smith, Anna P., Bou Mansour, Carl, & Nixon, Andrea Lisa (2018). Ways of Knowing and Appraisal of Intellectual Activities. American Journal of Psychology.