Dr. Sharon Thompson-Schill is an American cognitive psychologist based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology at Davidson College and her Ph.D in Cognitive Psychology at Stanford University. She's been active in the field of psychology for over 20 years, with her first study being published in 1991. Since then she has been involved in over 100 published papers and now serves as the Principal Investigator at the Thompson-Schill Lab as well as the Department Chair, Co-Director, and Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania
As an author, she has been largely collected by libraries and largely cited by her peers.
Thompson-Schill was born on June 24, 1970, in Washington D.C. She attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Maryland for high school, graduating in 1987. She currently lives in Philadelphia and has three children, who attended Central High School (Philadelphia) and Julia R. Masterman School (also in Philadelphia), and two of which have attended Reed College, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Brandeis University.
Thompson-Schill enrolled in Davidson College in 1987 and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in 1991. She then was accepted into Stanford University and graduated with her doctorate in 1996 after writing a dissertation entitled "Context effects on word recognition: Implications for models of lexical representation", which was published and is currently available in the Stanford University Library. Since then her papers and studies have been collectively cited more than 8,600 times. The next three years of her life following this thesis were spent at the University of Pennsylvania as a post-doctoral fellow in the Psychology department.
She is currently continuing her work in the University of Pennsylvania Psychology Department.
Thompson-Schill's career is ongoing and well recognized. She is the Chairwoman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania since 2014, and the Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the same university. She is a well-recognized professor at the college, and has held numerous faculty appointments both there and at other institutions (such as Swarthmore College and Notre Dame of Maryland University). She is also the head of the Thompson-Schill Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and continues to conduct research there with her team.
She and her team at the Thompson-Schill Lab have done extensive research on the concept of Cognitive control, which is a section of the brain's executive functioning skills. She spoke about the topic at a panel discussion hosted by the American Folk Art Museum, entitled 'Unraveling the Mysteries of Creativity: Connections to Genetics, Mental Health, and the Brain', where she described the work she and her team of psychologists have been conducting on cognitive control in adults and the role of the frontal lobe in this process. Her work is primarily focused on cognitive processes and systems such as perception, language, and thought, and her team produces numerous studies and papers that are widely circulated throughout the psychological community.
Thompson-Schill has won nineteen major Psychology awards, including the Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education Award from the National Science Foundation (1999) and the Women in Cognitive Science Mentorship Award (2004). She has also been awarded numerous grants over the course of her career, of which three are currently active and twenty-one are concluded.
- Yee, E. & Thompson-Schill, S.L. (in press). Putting concepts into context. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.
- Coutanche, M.N., Solomon, S.H., & Thompson-Schill, S.L. (2016). A meta-analysis of fMRI decoding: Quantifying influences on human visual population codes. Neuropsychologia.