John Kiat

Every day, we face social situations and decisions requiring rapid and accurate responses. The outcomes to our choices, regardless of how conscious we are of them, can be rather perplexing. Why do we empathize with some people and not others? Why are we caught off guard in one social situation but not another? How do we decide which aspects of our day to day social memories are accurate? Identifying and evaluating every piece of potentially relevant information in these situations would leave us in a constant state of analysis paralysis. Yet, we make it through each day resolving hundreds if not thousands of such decisions, each in seconds rather than years. To achieve this, instead of considering every piece of available data, attentional biases focus our cognition on a more limited range of information. A type of socio-attentional bottleneck. My research interests focus on utilizing this aspect of social processing to shed light on the basic processes underlying social perception and affective responding. To do so effectively given the speed of human cognition, my current research approach combines the millisecond resolution of high-density electroencephalography (EEG) with well-established experimental methods. I utilize this approach in two distinct research programs focusing on social cognition and event memory, though in recent years I have begun to focus much more heavily on the former.

Most of my current work involves behavioral methods and the use of High-Density EEG, most frequently the 256-channel EGI hydrocel system (though I also dabble in portable low-density arrays and have experience with gel based approaches). For a full list of completed and ongoing papers, you can download a copy my CV here. Feel free to message me here or at  for a copy of any paper that interests you! :