Anusha Garg

Anusha Garg

Graduate Student



Jonathan Schooler

Research Area

Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience


Anusha earned her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2020. Her work during her senior and accelerated Masters theses focused on developing the Think Aloud procedure as a way to investigate stream of consciousness under the guidance of her former advisor, Dr. Chandra Sripada. Anusha started her doctoral training at UCSB in Dr. Jonathan Schooler’s META Lab in 2020, and has since earned Ph.D. candidacy in 2023.


My research has taken a broad approach on the study of the stream of consciousness. In particular, I have investigated the validity of using Think Aloud (asking participants to ‘just-think’ and verbalize whatever thoughts come to attention) to study spontaneous thoughts and mind wandering. I have since used Think Aloud to develop taxonomies of the content and qualities of spontaneous thoughts. 

Having established Think Aloud’s reliability, I am currently working on examining whether meta-awareness (one’s explicit awareness of the contents of consciousness) is increased or decreased when thinking aloud. Additionally, using natural language processing tools such as the LIWC, I am looking for ‘psychological biomarkers’ within the transcripts of spontaneous thoughts that might predict individual differences such as personality traits, boredom, creativity, and more.

Finally, my dissertation will focus on developing interventions using Think Aloud to help people ‘Think Better’. These interventions will focus on mindfulness, gratitude, self compassion, curiosity, creativity and more to bring about a positive change to individuals’ streams of consciousness. Additionally, I hope to create an app to disseminate these interventions to the general public, in order to study the long term consequences on well-being, life satisfaction, and other physiological measures.