Wallin Postdoctoral Fellow
Cognitive Psychology

Olin-Rice Science Center, 232

Telephone: 651-696-6464
Ariel James’s research concerns the relationship between language processing and other cognitive abilities, and is at the intersection of the experimental and correlational disciplines of psychology. What makes some sentences harder to understand than others, and how can differences between comprehenders shed light on that? Why are some people better comprehenders than others, and what measures can we use to predict that? Her dissertation work explored these questions by measuring reading comprehension, memory span, perceptual speed, and other abilities, investigating the relations between them, and raising important questions about measurement reliability. She also works on similar questions in auditory sentence processing, using the “Visual World Paradigm” in eye tracking. A broader interest is in meta-analysis and replication in psycholinguistics, including a large-scale meta-analysis of syntactic priming. She will also be a visiting scholar in the iLab.
Ariel teaches courses on cognitive psychology, including a seminar on Intelligence in Spring 2018.
BA: Stanford University
MA and PhD: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mahowald, K., James, A.N., Futrell, R., & Gibson, E. (2016). A meta-analysis of syntactic
priming in language production. Journal of Memory and Language, 91, 5-27.
Gillespie, M., James, A.N., Federmeier, K., & Watson, D. (2014). Verbal working memory
predicts co-speech gesture: Evidence from individual differences. Cognition, 132,