Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Psychology, Johns Hopkins University, 2004
  • M.A., Psychological and Brain Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, 2001
  • B.A., Psychology, Rutgers University, 1998
  • B.S., Administration of Justice, Rutgers University, 1998
Academic Appointments
  • Lecturer, Drexel University, 2007-2012
Professional Honors
  • National Research Service Award training grant through the Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University, 2004-2005
  • J. Brien Key Graduate Award, 2002, 2000
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2000
  • Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar, 1994-1998
Professional Affiliations
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Risk Analysis
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
      • Forensic Professional Group Chair
    • Association for Psychological Science

Dr. Sala's work focuses on the cognitive, perceptual, physical, and developmental human factors issues relating to accidents and injuries. He applies this expertise to the analysis of visibility, the effect of attention on human performance, lifespan and age differences in behavior, human information processing and decision-making, and the development and evaluation of warning and safety information. 

Dr. Sala has analyzed human factors issues in accidents associated with a number of scenarios (e.g., motor vehicles, consumer products usage, slips/trips and falls, recreational activities) resulting in a variety of injuries (e.g., burns and scalds, submersions, mechanical suffocation, electrocutions, poisonings).

Using large-scale incident and injury data (e.g., the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control's Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research, etc.), Dr. Sala has performed injury and risk analysis to measure the safety of products, and he has examined the effectiveness of some of the strategies used to reduce risk. In addition, he has used his experience to conduct product usability studies and to examine the physical and cognitive abilities of both child and adult users as they interact with particular products and environments.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Sala completed a Ph.D. in psychology at the Johns Hopkins University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University. During that time he focused his research on the cognitive neuroscience of human information processing, the brain mechanisms underlying learning, memory, vision, and cognitive control, and their behavioral manifestations. In his research, he used a variety of experimental methods (behavioral, neuroimaging, and patient case studies) and statistical analyses to explore the interactions between learning, vision, working memory, and attention.