Mica Carroll

Mica Carroll

Project title: Mechanisms of Pattern Learning in Language and Movement

Project description: What do language and dance have in common? Both follow
patterns of sounds or movements that are structured in time, and mastering these skills
requires learning their underlying sequential structures. How do we learn these
structures, why are we motivated to do so, and is there a parallel process for patterns of
movement? To investigate these questions, I plan on designing a series of studies
which will focus on how active learning is shaped by embodied cognition, or the notion
that the body, and not just the brain, plays an integral role in cognitive processes.
Most important accomplishment: Earning my blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu after three
years of literal blood, sweat, and tears.

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: In the College Scholar Program, my
interests and growth take precedent over requirements. I have both greater freedom to
explore and greater guidance to focus my ideas than a normal major might offer. Just
this semester I let my curiosity lead me to new places, such as working in a lab for the
first time and taking my first class in psycholinguistics. Now my time at Cornell looks
less like a checklist and a lot more like an intellectual journey.

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