About Tanya Jonker

I currently lead a research program exploring human cognition and its intersection with futuristic technologies at Facebook Reality Labs.

Human cognition is a profoundly complex and multidimensional system. Studying the cognitive system is challenging because our behaviors are the emergent properties of many interacting cognitive subprocesses. Our ability to learn new information is determined by multiple factors, including attention to various features, whether we’ve learned something similar in the past, the strategy we used, our level of fatigue, our level of interest, and so on.

To make progress in understanding cognition, we take a multi-pronged approach, studying cognition both in the laboratory and under naturalistic conditions while using a variety of techniques, including behavioural and neuroimaging methodologies. My current and prior work has focused on memory retrieval, associative encoding, mind-wandering, and cognitive load. By examining cognitive subprocesses in isolation and in concert with the rest of the cognitive system, we are enhancing our understanding the interaction between human cognition and future technologies.