Russ Costa, Ph.D


Phone: 801.832.2459


Office Location: Meldrum Science Center 212

Office Hours: TTh 12:00–1:30 p.m., T 3:30–5:00 p.m.


Ph.D. University of Utah
M.S. University of Utah
B.A. Middlebury College


Russ Costa is a cognitive scientist, skier, and mountaineer. An expert on human attention and performance, he is interested in how distracted, fatigued, or otherwise impaired minds and brains perceive and attend to the world, particularly in high-risk, high-consequence environments. Russ’s research work utilizes a broad range of methodologies, from electroencephalography (EEG) to applied behavioral analysis in the natural environment. After two decades of conducting primarily laboratory-based theoretical work on cognition, Russ has moved parts of his research program outside, studying cognition and neuroscience “in the wild.” His current work examines how hypobaric hypoxia at high altitude affects human attention, decision-making, and error. Russ teaches a broad slate of courses in the Honors College and in the Neuroscience and Psychology programs at Westminster, where his expertise in cognitive neuroscience intersects with his interests in the philosophy of mind, human-technology interfaces, art and perception, science in society, and other interdisciplinary topics.

Russ Costa headshot