Regan Lawson

Regan R. Lawson, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist
Human Factors
Philadelphia

Dr. Lawson is an expert in human perception and cognition, cognitive and motor skill development, and how training methodology, prior knowledge, and environmental conditions affect decision-making and behavior. She investigates human factors and human performance issues in a wide variety of contexts including product warning and safety information; hazard identification involved with slips, trips and falls; response during emergency situations; motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents; aquatic safety and surveillance; evaluation of consumer and industrial product interactions; and eyewitness perception and memory. Dr. Lawson has also done work in consumer product risk analysis, user testing, and evaluation of the adequacy of instructions and warnings in fields ranging from transportation, to athletic, to medical and childrens’ products. She uses a variety of methodologies, including surrogate studies, video analysis, standards compliance analysis, injury database analysis, and accident reconstruction.

Before joining Exponent, Dr. Lawson completed her graduate studies as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cognitive Motor Control Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research work, under a National Institutes of Health Fellowship for Prosthetics and Orthotics, identified neurobehavioral measures predictive of motor skill learning and subsequent ability to transfer motor skills to novel situations. Dr. Lawson’s research included the collection and subsequent correlative analysis of eye-tracking, kinematic, neural and behavioral data to study how the quality and speed of a perception-reaction task changes during the learning process. Dr. Lawson has also provided consultation on projects examining neurobehavioral changes associated with dehydration and with child motor skill development.

After completing her degree, Dr. Lawson joined the faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology as a founding member for the undergraduate neuroscience program, providing expertise in the cognitive, perceptual, and decision-making aspects of the program. Dr. Lawson’s 25 years of experience in education provides valuable insight into child and adolescent cognitive and motor developmental abilities and limitations, including situational awareness and decision-making with products, warnings and instructions, and the environment.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Applied Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2017
  • M.A., Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado, 1994
  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 1988
  • NIH Fellow for Prosthetics and Orthotics Research Training, 2013-2016

    Georgia Institute of Technology Presidential Scholarship, 2013-2017

    Colorado Teacher of the Year, Semi-Finalist, 1998

Publications

Bayani, K., Rickerson, B., Levinson, L., Wheaton, L., Otwell, M., Atawala, N., Lawson, R., Mitchell, S., Implicit eye gaze strategies support motor improvements during action encoding training of prosthesis use, Neuropsycholgia 2019, 127:75-83.

Lawson, RR, Gayle, JO, Wheaton, LA, Individualized predictor for the presence of incidental explicit awareness in sequential motor learning tasks, PLoS One, 2017; 12(4):e0175176.

Lawson, D., Cusack, W., Lawson, R., Hardy, A., Kistenberg, R., Wheaton, L., Influence of perspective of action observation training on residual limb control in naïve prosthesis usage, Journal of Motor Behavior, 2016; 48(5):446-454.

Presentations

Dehydration impairs accuracy and increases brain activity during a rhythmic bimanual choice reaction time task, American College of Sports Medicine, May 2019.

Neurobehavioral quantification of the transition to explicit awareness in skilled motor learning: Implications for rehabilitation. Presented at Georgia Institute of Technology, November 2017. Dissertation Defense.

Dehydration impairs accuracy and increases brain activity during a rhythmic bimanual choice reaction time task, American College of Sports Medicine, May 2019.

Neurobehavioral quantification of the transition to explicit awareness in skilled motor learning: Implications for rehabilitation. Presented at Georgia Institute of Technology, November 2017. Dissertation Defense.

Successful transfer of recently acquired motor skills may be dependent on enhanced visuomotor error monitoring during initial learning: an individualized movement-locked ERP analysis, Society for Neuroscience, November 2018.

Neurobehavioral correlates provide mechanistic insight into how the development of incidental explicit awareness facilitates motor skill generation, American Society for Neurorehabilitation & Society for Neuroscience, November 2017.

(T)racing Eyes and Hearts: An Art Installation to Explore the Physiology of Empathy, 4-S Conference, August 2017.

Neurobehavioral validation of an individualized behavioral indicator for the presence of incidental explicit awareness in sequential motor learning, Society for Neuroscience, November 2016.

Individual behavioral marker for identification of explicit awareness during sequential motor learning, Society for Neuroscience, October 2015.

Influence of perspective of action observation training on motor outcomes in naïve prosthesis usage, Society for Neural Control of Movement, April 2015.

Molecular evidence for multiple purinergic P2X receptor subtypes in supraoptic nucleus, Experimental Biology Conference, March 2009

Prior Experience

Educational Editor, Springer Publisher, 2015-2019

Educational Consultant, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-2018

District S.T.A.R. Mentor, Cherry Creek School District, 2012-2013

Staff Development Coordinator, Grandview High School, 2008-2012

Academic Appointments

Academic Professional, Neuroscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2017-2019

Program Instructor, Anatomy, Physiology & Medical Ethics, Duke TIP, 2015

Science Teacher, Grandview High School, 1998-2012

Science Teacher, Prairie Middle School, 1992-1998

Professional Affiliations

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Society for Neuroscience

Additional Information

Additional Education Training

University of Colorado Health Sciences Medical School, 1997-1998

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Applied Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2017
  • M.A., Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado, 1994
  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 1988
  • NIH Fellow for Prosthetics and Orthotics Research Training, 2013-2016

    Georgia Institute of Technology Presidential Scholarship, 2013-2017

    Colorado Teacher of the Year, Semi-Finalist, 1998