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Professor Ruth Byrne

Professor of Cognitive Science (Psychology)

Professor of Cognitive Science (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))

Ruth Byrne is the Professor of Cognitive Science at Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, in the School of Psychology and the Institute of Neuroscience, a Chair created for her by the University in 2005. Her research expertise is in the cognitive science of human thinking, including experimental and computational investigations of reasoning and imaginative thought. Her most recent book is a co-edited volume with Kinga Morsanyi on 'Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision-making in Autism' (2019, Routledge). She has also written 'The Rational Imagination: How People Create Alternatives to Reality' published in 2005 by MIT press (and selected for open peer commentary by the Behavioral and Brain Sciences journal in 2007), and 'Deduction', co-authored with Phil Johnson-Laird, published in 1991 by Erlbaum Associates (selected for open peer commentary by the Behavioral and Brain Sciences journal in 1993). She has published over 100 articles in journals such as Annual Review of Psychology, Cognition, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Science, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Psychological Review, and Trends in Cognitive Sciences. She is the former Vice Provost of Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, the 68th Vice Provost since the University was established in 1592 (the first was Henry Ussher in 1594) and the second woman to be appointed to the role. Prior to that she was the Head of the School of Psychology and former Deputy Director of the Institute of Neuroscience. Her current contributions to the discipline include serving as Senior Editor for Cognitive Science, journal of the US Cognitive Science Society, and as Chair of the European Research Council's advanced grants panel on the Human Mind and its Complexity. Her current service in Trinity includes serving as chair of the Faculty Promotions Committee for Science, Engineering and Mathematics, member of the Senior Academic Promotions Committee, and member of the Board of the Institute of Neuroscience. She currently teaches a foundation module on Thinking to first and second year undergraduates, and two advanced modules, one on Human Reasoning and the other on Creative Cognition, to third and fourth year undergraduates. She supervises final year project students and postgraduate students carrying out research on thinking, reasoning, and imagination. Her BA degree was awarded by the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin in 1983 and she completed her PhD at the University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin in 1986. She subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. Prior to her appointment at Trinity College, she held lectureships in the computer science department at University College Dublin and in the psychology department at the University of Wales at Cardiff. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, and a Fellow of the US Association for Psychological Science.
  COUNTERFACTUAL THINKING   Imagination and Creativity   moral judgment   Thinking and Reasoning
Conditional and counterfactual reasoning. in, editor(s)Knauff, M., & Spohn, W. , Handbook of Rationality., Cambridge, MA., MIT Press., 2021, [Byrne, R. M.J. & Espino, O.], Book Chapter, IN_PRESS
Espino, O., & Byrne, R. M. J., How people keep track of what is real and what is imagined: the epistemic status of counterfactual alternatives to reality, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. , 47, (4), 2021, p547 - 570, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Pighin, S., Byrne, R. M., & Tentori, K. , "If only" counterfactual thoughts about cooperative and uncooperative decisions in social dilemmas. , Thinking & Reasoning, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Orenes, I., Espino, O., & Byrne, R. M.J., Similarities and Differences in Understanding Negative and Affirmative Counterfactuals and Causal Assertions: Evidence from Eye-Tracking., Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology., 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Morsanyi, K. & Byrne, R.M.J. , Thinking, reasoning, and decision-making in autism., 1, London, Routledge, 2020, 1 - 162pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Counterfactual and false-belief reasoning in individuals with autism. in, editor(s)K. Morsanyi & R.M.J. Byrne , Thinking, reasoning, and decision-making in autism., London, Routledge, 2020, pp88 - 112, [Rasga, C., Quelhas, A.C. & Byrne, R.M.J.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
How do individuals with autism think? in, editor(s)Morsanyi, K. & Byrne, R.M.J. , Thinking, reasoning, and decision-making in autism. , London, Routledge, 2020, pp1 - 12, [Morsanyi, K. & Byrne, R.M.J. ], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
The Counterfactual Imagination: The Impact of Alternatives to Reality on Morality in, editor(s)A. Abraham , Cambridge Handbook of the Imagination, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp529 - 547, [Byrne, R.M.J.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Espino, O., Byrne, R. M. J. & Johnson-Laird, P.N. , Possibilities and the parallel meanings of factual and counterfactual conditionals., Memory & Cognition, 48, 2020, p1263 - 1280, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Espino, O., & Byrne, R. M. J., The suppression of inferences from counterfactual conditionals. , Cognitive Science, 44 , 2020, pe12827 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

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