Ashleigh Wells

Ashleigh Wells

Graduate Student



Richard Mayer

Research Area

Cognition, Perception, and Cognitive Neuroscience


Ashleigh Wells completed her BA in Psychology at Bloomsburg University of PA, with a focus on researching how chronic and acute stress affect relapse to food seeking in rats. She went on to earn her MA in Psychology from Boston University, focusing on researching the cognitive differences between dyslexics and typical readers when reading jumbled words. Ashleigh then took a two-year position at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center in Baltimore, MD where her various research projects aimed at determining the effects of nicotine and other drugs on attention in normal human controls and rats. She also worked with clinical populations (schizophrenia) in researching how nicotine interacts with cognitive remediation training using games and how tryptophan affects cognition. She started at UCSB in 2017 working with Dr. Richard Mayer, and has immensely enjoyed Southern California so far. Her interests in education and games stems from a personal love of video and board games, and a change-the-world dream of making education accessible for everyone. 


My research focuses on how to create effective learning materials and learning experiences using the cognitive science of learning. This includes how to best design slideshows, the cognitive consequences of games for learning, students' use of note-taking during lectures, and the use and design of technology in the classroom (VR/AR, games). I am also more generally interested in problem solving training and the cognitive mechanisms underlying active learning.

[Cognitive psychology, Educational psychology, Instructional design, Games for Learning, Technology in education]