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Morton Ann Gernsbacher is Vilas Research Professor and Sir Frederic Bartlett Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is a specialist in autism and psycholinguistics and has written and edited professional and lay books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on these subjects. She currently serves as co-editor of the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest and associate editor for Cognitive Psychology, and she has previously held editorial positions for Memory & Cognition and Language and Cognitive Processes. She was also president of the Association for Psychological Science in 2007.
Gernsbacher received a B.A. from the University of North Texas in 1976, an M.S. from University of Texas at Dallas in 1980, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Human Experimental Psychology in 1983.
Main areas of interest
Gernsbacher's research focuses on the cognitive processes and mechanisms that underlie language comprehension. She has challenged the view that language processing depends upon language-specific mechanisms, proposing instead that it draws on general cognitive processes such as working memory and pattern recognition. During recent years, motivated by the diagnosis of her son, Gernsbacher's research has focused on the cognitive and neurological processes of people with autism. As a result of investigating the language development of children with autism, Gernsbacher has posited that the speech difficulties associated with autism stem from motor planning challenges, not from intellectual limitations or social impairment. The implications of this perspective include a shift in focus from deficits in interpersonal communication to early sensory-motor challenges of children with autism, as well as recognition of previously unidentified competence in nonverbal children with autism.
- 2010 received the Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science of the American Psychological Association
- 2007 William James Distinguished Lecturer in Psychological Science, Southeastern Psychological Association
- 2007 John Kendall Lecturer in Psychology, Gustavus Adolphus College
- 2006 President of the Association for Psychological Science (formerly the American Psychological Society)
- 2003 Elected Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychologists
- 2001 Senior Research Fellowship, National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health
- 2000 Distinguished Scientist Lecturer, American Psychological Association
- 1999 Vilas Associate Research Award, University of Wisconsin–Madison
- 1998 Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education Award (POWRE), National Science Foundation
- 1995 Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
- 1994 Named “Sir Frederic C. Bartlett Professor,” University of Wisconsin–Madison
- 1993 Elected Fellow of the American Psychological Society
- 1992 Elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association
Editorial board/consulting editor
- Web site at the University of Wisconsin.
- APS official home page
- Works by or about Morton Ann Gernsbacher in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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