I am a sixth year PhD student in the philosophy side of the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Starting in Fall 2024, I will be a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers Center for Cognitive ScienceBefore MIT, I received my B.A. in philosophy at Yale University, and before that I was born and raised in Shanghai, China. 

I work on philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science and epistemology.

My research broadly considers creative thought, and other closely related forms of unguided thoughts, such as mind wandering. These forms of thoughts are both pervasive and important for our everyday epistemic lives but have been undertheorized in philosophy due to their lack of rigidity. I am interested in attention, memory and other underlying processes of creative thoughts, as well as how understanding them better brings out implications in epistemology. I also have broader research interests in providing philosophical interpretations of computational models in cognitive science.

Here is my CV.

You can contact me at: yx_wang[at]mit[dot]edu

Work in Progress

Attention and Memory as Mechanisms for Creative Insight (Revise and resubmit at Synthese)

Mind Wandering as Diffuse Attention (Under review)

Recent and upcoming presentations

Gist memory and creativity, Schacter Memory Lab (on zoom), Harvard University, June 2024

Epistemic generation in gist memory, Issues in Philosophy of Memory (IPM) 4University of Geneva, Switzerland, June 2024

Hopping through the conceptual space: diffusely attending to memory in creative thinking, European Society for Philosophy and Psychology (ESPP) 2023, Prague, Czech Republic, August 2023

Modes of attention in creative thinking, Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP) 2023, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2023

Memory and internal diffuse attention in creative thinking, The International Memory Reading Group (on zoom), June 2023

Mind-wandering as diffuse attention (with Azenet Lopez), Poster presentation at joint meeting of ESPP/SPP 2022, Milan, Italy, July 2022


While in graduate school, I also worked first as an organizer, and then as a co-director for Minorities and Philosophy (MAP). MAP is a graduate student led non-profit dedicated to removing barriers to participation for philosophers from underrepresented background, and has more than 170 chapter in universities all over the world.