Abhilasha Kumar

Abhilasha Kumar majored in Mathematics and Computing an undergraduate at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. She also has an MA in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Computer Science & Psychology from Ashoka University, where she focused on developing automated text-analysis tools to study cognitive processes.

Her current research focuses on investigating how conceptual knowledge and language is acquired, represented, and retrieved via large-scale semantic associative, distributional, and neural network models, and uncovering the cognitive mechanisms underlying lexical and episodic retrieval failures in younger and older adults.



Kumar, A.A. (in press). Semantic Memory: An Integrative Review of Methods, Models, and Current Challenges. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review [Theoretical Review] [PDF]

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A. (2020). Attempted Prime Retrieval is a Double-Edged Sword: Facilitation and Disruption in Repeated Lexical Retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 46(8), 1505–1532. [PDF]

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., De Deyne, S. (2020). Modeling Free Associations Using Distributional Semantic Models and Spreading Activation. Paper at Grace Hopper Conference. [PDF]

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., Steyvers, M. (2019). Distant Connectivity and Multiple-Step Priming in Large-Scale Semantic Networks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. [PDF]

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., Steyvers, M. (2019). Distant Concept Connectivity in Network-Based and Spatial Word Representations. In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 1348-1354. [PDF]

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., Habbert, J., Scaltritti, M., Maddox, G.B. (2019). Converging Semantic and Phonological Information in Lexical Retrieval and Selection in Young and Older Adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 45(12), 2267–2289. [PDF]

Kumar, A.A., Hangal, S., Rosen, A.C. (2019). Autobiographical Recall of Personally Familiar Names and Temporal Information in E-mails: An Automatic Analytic Approach using E-mail Communications. Behavior Research Methods, 51(4), 1510-1530. [PDF]

Maddox, G.B., Balota, D.A., Kumar, A.A., Millar, P., Churchill, L. (2019). The Immediate Benefits and Long-Term Costs of Briefly Presented Primes on Episodic Recollection. Journal of Memory and Language. 106, 77-94. [PDF]


Kumar, A.A., Steyvers, M., Balota, D.A. (under review). Semantic Memory Search and Retrieval in a Cooperative Word Game. Cognitive Science.



Kumar, A.A., Balota, A., & Steyvers, M. (in prep.). Understanding Semantic Memory Structure and Processes through the Lens of Semantic Networks. Invited Special Issue, Topics in Cognitive Science.

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A. (in prep.). Modeling Human Performance in the Cloze Task using Context-free and Contextual Word Embeddings.

Kumar, A.A., Bowen, J., Garg, K. (in prep.). Searching through Semantic Space in a Cooperative Word Game.

Balota, D.A., Kumar, A.A., Han, L. (in prep.). Priming Recollection in a Free Recall Paradigm.


“Semantic Memory: Representation, Search, and Retrieval”. The Stanford Language and Cognition Lab, Stanford University, September 2020 [Invited Talk].

“Combining Structure and Process Models of Semantic Memory”. Computational Behavioral Science Lab. University of Pennsylvania, October 2020 [Invited Talk].

“Priming for Distant Concepts: Insights from Semantic Networks”. Behavior, Brain, and Cognition Brownbag,Washington University in St Louis, October 2019.

“Distant Connectivity in three 5000-word Semantic Networks in English”. Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL, 2019

“Lexical Retrieval Inhibition from Semantically Related Retrieval Primes”, Aging and Development Brownbag, Washington University in St Louis. December 2018

“That Word at the Tip of Your Tongue”. Public Health and Aging Session, McDonnell Academy 7th International Symposium, Beijing, China.

“Network Path Length as a Measure of Semantic Distance in a 5000-word English Lexicon”, Data Blitz at 2018 Show Me State Conference on Cognition, St Louis, MO.

“Remembering Names from Emails: Cognitive Experiments with Life-Logs (CELL): A Novel Approach to Study Name Retrieval”, Personal Digital Archiving 2017, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

“Cognitive Experiments on Life-Logs (CELL): A New Approach to Study Recall of Personally Familiar Proper-Names using Emails”, International Conference on Memory, Budapest, Hungary.



Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., (November 2020, upcoming). Searching Semantic Memory for Conceptual Associates, Psychonomic Society 61st Annual Meeting, Psychonomic Society, Virtual.

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., Steyvers, M. (November 2019). Evaluating Association Networks and Distributional Semantic Models in a Cooperative Word Game, Psychonomic Society 60th Annual Meeting, Psychonomic Society, Montreal, Canada.

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., Steyvers, M. (November 2018). Distant Semantic Network Connectivity and Semantic Priming: Evidence from a 5000-word Semantic Network, Psychonomic Society 59th Annual Meeting, Psychonomic Society, New Orleans, LA.

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A. (May 2018). Prime Retrieval Failure Disrupts Lexical Retrieval to Definitions in Younger and Older Adults, 2018 Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Kumar, A.A., Balota, D.A., Habbert, J., Scaltritti, M., Maddox, G.B. (November 2017). Priming Lexical Retrieval to Definitions in Younger and Older Adults, Psychonomic Society 58th Annual Meeting, Psychonomic Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Kumar, A.A., Hangal, S., Piratla, V., Rosen, A.C.  (July 2017). Whom Did I Send This Message To: An Automatic Analytic Approach to 59000 Email Communications, 2017 Leading Edge Workshop: Beyond the Lab: Using Big Data to Discover Principles of Cognition, Psychonomic Society, Madison, WI.