Brooke Lea

Cognitive Psychology

Olin-Rice Science Center, 329
Telephone: 651-696-6196


Brooke Lea specializes in human cognition, with an emphasis on higher mental processes. His research interests include theories of discourse comprehension, models of human logical competence, the interaction between culture and cognition, and comprehension processes involved in reading poetry. He serves on the editorial board of Psychological Bulletin. He teaches courses on cognition, psychology of language, and psychological statistics. Questions about higher-level cognitive processes such as language comprehension and reasoning are investigated in Professor Brooke Lea’s research lab.


  • BA: Haverford College
  • PhD: New York University

Selected Publications

Welkowitz, J., Cohen, B.H., & Lea, R. B. (in press). Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, 7th Ed. John Wiley & Sons.

Singer, M., & Lea, R.B. (in press) Inference and Reasoning in Discourse Comprehension. In Hans-Joerg Schmid and Dirk Geeraerts (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive pragmatics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Lea, R. B., Rapp, D. N., Elfenbein, A., Mitchel, A.D., & Romine, R. S. (2008). Sweet silent thought: Alliteration and resonance in poetry comprehension. Psychological Science, 19, 709-716.

Lea, R.B., Mulligan, E.J. & Walton, J. (2005). Accessing distant premise information: How memory feeds reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 28,303-317.

Long, D. L. & Lea, R.B. (2005). Have we been searching for meaning in all the wrong places:Defining the "search after meaning" principle in comprehension.Discourse Processes, 39, 279-298.

Cohen, B.H. & Lea, R.B. (2004). Essentials of Statistics for the Social and Behavioral Sciences. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 0-471-22031-0.

Lea, R.B., Kayser, P., Mulligan, E.J. & Myers, J. (2002) Do readers make inferences about conversational topics? Memory & Cognition, 30, 945-957.

Lea, R.B., & Mulligan, E.J. (2002). The effect of negation on deductive inferences.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 28, 303-317.

Lea, R.B., Mason, R.A., Albrecht, J.E., Birch, S., & Myers, J.L. (1998). Who knows what about whom: What role does common ground play in accessing distant information? Journal of Memory and Language, 39, 70-84.

Lea, R.B. (1998). Logical inference and comprehension: How mental logic and text processing theories need each other. In M.D.S. Braine & D.P. O’Brien (Eds.), Mental Logic. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum 63-78.

Lea, R.B. (1995). On-line evidence for elaborative logical inferences in text. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 1469-1482.

Full list of publications