Allison Fitch Headshot

Allison Fitch

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-2416
Office Location

Allison Fitch

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

Bio

Dr. Allison Fitch is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts. Prior to joining the faculty at RIT, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Boston University, and received her PhD in Developmental and Brain Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Boston. 

Dr. Fitch is a developmental cognitive neuroscientist. Her research focuses on the inter-relationships between the developing visual cognitive system and language acquisition. She is particularly interested in questions that expand our understanding of how joint attention contributes to language acquisition, and the relationship between early language experiences and low-level visual attention mechanisms. She primarily addresses these questions in infant and toddler populations, particularly deaf children acquiring American Sign Language.
 

585-475-2416

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Fitch, Allison, Nilam Thaker, and Zsuzsa Kaldy. "The role of redundant verbal labels in 8-and 10-month-olds’ working memory." Infant Behavior and Development. (2021): 101617. Web.
Lieberman, Amy M., Allison Fitch, and Arielle Borovsky. "Flexible fast‐mapping: Deaf children dynamically allocate visual attention to learn novel words in American Sign Language." Develomental Science. (2021): 1-15. Web.
Fitch, Allison, Sudha Arunachalam, and Amy M. Lieberman. "Mapping Word to World in ASL: Evidence from a Human Simulation Paradigm." Cognitive Science 45. 12 (2021): e13061. Web.

Currently Teaching

PSYC-101
3 Credits
Introduction to the field of psychology. Provides a survey of basic concepts, theories, and research methods. Topics include: thinking critically with psychological science; neuroscience and behavior; sensation and perception; learning; memory; thinking, language, and intelligence; motivation and emotion; personality; psychological disorders and therapy; and social psychology.
PSYC-101H
3 Credits
A state-of-the-art survey of major subfields in psychology and the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Topics include: a critical evaluation of psychological science; neuroscience and behavior; sensation and perception; learning; memory; thinking, language, and intelligence; motivation and emotion; personality; psychological disorders and therapy; and social psychology. The course focuses not only upon understanding the behavior of the individual, but also upon understanding how the individual acts within groups and reacts to group membership. Besides textbook reading, students will read and discuss current publications on the topics we explore, including examination of the scientific method (including validity and reliability) employed in published studies.
PSYC-223
3 Credits
This course examines how people perceive, learn, represent, remember and use information. Contemporary theory and research are surveyed in such areas as attention, pattern and object recognition, memory, knowledge representation, language acquisition and use, reasoning, decision making, problem solving, creativity, and intelligence. Applications in artificial intelligence and human/technology interaction may also be considered.
PSYC-250
3 Credits
This course will serve as an introduction to research methods in psychology, with the goal of understanding research design, analysis and writing. Topics include examining the variety of methods used in psychology research, understanding research ethics, developing empirical hypotheses, designing experiments, understanding statistical concepts, interpreting results, and writing research and review papers in APA style. This is a required course for all psychology majors, and is restricted to students in the psychology program.
PSYC-251
3 Credits
This course will serve as an advanced research methods course in psychology, and will build on the foundational knowledge presented in Research Methods I. Topics and tasks for this course include designing single and multi-factor experiments, interpreting correlational research, completing statistical analyses appropriate to design, completing and analyzing an IRB application, understanding observational and survey research, and presenting results in APA style. This is a required course for all psychology majors, and is restricted to students in the psychology program.
PSYC-430
3 Credits
This course is intended for students in the cognitive track. This course reviews current research in the areas of memory and attention. This course will consider such memory topics as: classic theories of memory, Baddeley’s model of working memory, in-formation processing, implicit and explicit memory, principles of forgetting, developmental changes in memory, skill memory, autobiographical memory, eyewitness memory, and the neural bases of memory. Attention topics covered in this course will include: Selective and divided attention, search and vigilance, signal detection theory, and neural correlates of attention.
PSYC-431
3 Credits
This course is intended for students in the cognitive track. This course examines the structure of human language and its relationship to thought, and surveys contemporary theory and research on the comprehension and production of spoken and written language. In addition, we will discuss categorization, representation of knowledge, expertise, consciousness, intelligence, and artificial intelligence. Topics on language and thought in non-human animals may also be covered. Part of the cognitive track for the psychology degree program.
PSYC-510
3 Credits
This course is intended for students in the psychology major to demonstrate experimental research expertise, while being guided by faculty advisors. The topic to be studied is up to the student, who must find a faculty advisor before signing up for the course. Students will be supervised by the advisor as they conduct their literature review, develop the research question or hypothesis, develop the study methodology and materials, construct all necessary IRB materials, run subjects, and analyze the results of their study. This course will culminate in an APA style paper and poster presentation reporting the results of the research. Because Senior Project is the culmination of a student’s scientific research learning experience in the psychology major, it is expected that the project will be somewhat novel, will extend the theoretical understanding of their previous work (or of the previous work of another researcher), and go well beyond any similar projects that they might have done in any of their previous courses.
PSYC-599
1 - 6 Credits
A program of study executed by an individual student with assistance and guidance by an instructor, outside a regular classroom setting. Guidelines for designing and gaining approval for an independent study are provided in College of Liberal Arts Policy I.D.
PSYC-752
3 Credits
The Thesis courses will vary widely but will fulfill the work plan agreed by the student and the adviser. The guiding principles of the Thesis Proposal course are to initiate thesis research including selecting a thesis advisor, choosing and defining a topic, surveying relevant research literature, and planning the research. To complete the course, the student will successfully submit and defend a thesis proposal, which is a detailed and complete plan of the thesis research. The thesis proposal should include exhaustive review of relevant literature, statement of the student's thesis, formulation of hypotheses, operational definitions of independent and dependent variables, and a detailed procedure for carrying out the research. The proposal may also include a section on anticipated results with a detailed plan for analysis of data.

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