Associate Professor • Department of Psychology • UCSC • Santa Cruz, CA • 95060 • 831.459.5767 • Room 412, Social Sciences 2

Research Interests

My interests are in visual, spatial, and embodied cognition, with a particular emphasis on how we analogize between domains of thought, using sensory or motor brain resources in the service of other tasks. This has led me to explorations of:
  • Synaesthesia
  • Working memory
  • Sign language
  • Perception of body movement
  • Embodied cognition in dancers
  • Entrainment of rhythmic behaviors in humans and non-human animals
  • The evolution of cognition from sensorimotor origins

I am accepting graduate students for 2013-14, and am particularly interested in students with a strong background in cognitive science and a genuine intellectual curiosity to understand core cognitive phenomena. I consider students with an undergraduate degrees in related fields (philosophy of mind, linguistics, physical anthropology, neuroscience), and I encourage a broad range of interests and projects in my lab.

Here's more about my Research Projects and the Lab Team.

Courses Taught

Psyc 20: Introduction to Cognition
Psyc 130: Visual & Spatial Cognition
Psyc 120D: Deafness & Sign Language
Psyc 232: Evolution of Cognition (graduate course)


Selected Publications

View PDF Cook, P. & Wilson, M. (2010). Do young chimpanzees have extraordinary working memory? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17, 599-600 doi:10.3758/PBR.17.4.599
View PDF Blaesi, S. & Wilson, M. (2010). The mirror reflects both ways: Action influences perception of others. Brain & Cognition, 72, 306–309 doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2009.10.001.
View PDF Wilson, M., Lancaster, J. & Emmorey, K. (2010). Representational momentum for the human body: Awkwardness matters, experience does not. Cognition, 116, 242–250 doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2010.05.006.
View PDF Wilson, M. (2010). The retooled mind: How culture re-engineers cognition. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, doi:10.1093/scan/nsp054.
View PDF Wilson, M. & Fox, G. (2007) Working memory for language is not special: Evidence for an articulatory loop for novel stimuli. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 14,470-473.
View PDF Wilson, M. & Emmorey, K. (2006). Comparing sign language and speech reveals a universal limit on short term memory capacity. Psychological Science, 17, 682-683.
View PDF Wilson, M. & Wilson, T. P. (2006). An oscillator model of the timing of turn-taking. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 957-968.
View PDF Wilson, M. (2002). Six views of embodied cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 9, 625-636.
View PDF Wilson, M. (2001). The case for sensorimotor coding in working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 8, 44-57.
View PDF Wilson, M. & Emmorey, K. (1997). A visuo-spatial "phonological loop" in working memory: Evidence from American Sign Language. Memory & Cognition, 25, 313-320.
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