Michael J. Spivey

merced theatres art kamangar center photo
Title: Professor
Phone: (209) 228-7742
  • Ph.D., 1996 — University of Rochester
  • M.A., 1995 — University of Rochester
  • B.A., 1991 — University of California, Santa Cruz

2010 - William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement, Sigma Xi

Research Interests:

Professor Spivey's research interests include:

  • Interaction between language and vision
  • Sentence processing
  • Word recognition
  • Visual attention
  • Visual memory
  • Eye movements
  • Computational modeling

Using an eyetracker and simultaneously recording the streaming x,y coordinates of the subject's computer mouse movements, he gets an online measure of some of the probabilistic representations (or "tentative interpretations") that get computed in real-time as the subject attempts to integrate various sources of visual and/or linguistic information.

One finding from this study is that spoken word recognition and syntactic parsing are immediately influenced by relevant visual context — thus compromising strict modular theories of language processing. This, and related, work is described in his book, The Continuity of Mind (2007).


The Continuity of Mind