Research Interests

I’m interested in the ways different attention states affect the way people complete tasks and solve problems. I’m using our fMRI dataset to examine how different states of attention prior to seeing a problem can predict the speed at which participants solve subsequent problems. Further, I am interested in running our behavioral studies online and am currently coding up our classic compound remote associates paradigm.

My greatest motivation in studying cognitive psychology is finding ways to take research findings and implement them in efficacious ways in the classroom.

Selected Works

Zabelina, D., Saporta, A., Beeman, M. (2015). Flexible or leaky attention in creative people? Distinct patterns of attention for different types of creative thinking. Memory & Cognition, 1-11.

Zabelina, D., Hechtman, L., Saporta, A., Grunewald, K., Beeman, M. (in prep). Divergent thinking, but not real-world creative achievement, is linked with decreased attentional integration.


I love being outside, especially when running or skiing, playing piano, messing around with dogs, independent films, and almost anything relating to the intersection of educational practices, tech, and design.