Sian Beilock is President of Barnard College. Her research sits at the intersection of cognitive science and education. She explores the cognitive and neural substrates of skill learning as well as the mechanisms by which performance breaks down in high-stress or high-pressure situations.
Dr. Beilock uses converging methodologies in her research – ranging from behavioral performance measures (e.g., reaction time and accuracy), to physiological measures of stress (e.g., salivary cortisol), to neuroimaging techniques (e.g., fMRI). In addition to answering basic questions about cognition, the goal of her research program is to inform educational practice and policy.
Beilock received a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego in 1997, and an M.A. in Psychology, a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Michigan State University in 2000 and 2003 respectively.