DeWitt Wallace Professor of Psychology, Director of Cognitive Science Concentration
Cognitive Psychology

Olin-Rice Science Center, 329


Curriculum Vitae

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.

Prof. Lea’s Bio


    • BA: Haverford College
    • PhD: New York University

Selected Publications

*indicates current or former Macalester student

Smith, E., Lea, R.B., & O’Brien, E. (2023). Exploring the spatial gradient effect. Discourse Processes.

Lea, R.B., Elfenbein, E.., & Rapp, D.N. (2021). Rhyme as resonance in poetry comprehension: An expert-novice study. Memory & Cognition, 49, 12-85-1299.

Singer, M., & Lea, R.B. (2012) 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.

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.