Assistant Professor
B.A., Vassar College, 1991
Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2001
Department of Psychology
213 Severance Lab
Oberlin, Ohio 44074
(440) 775-5317

I am a psycholinguist with a background in both cognitive psychology and linguistics. For the previous three years I was a postdoctoral fellow at SUNY Stony Brook, working on ways to study comprehension during conversational interaction using head-mounted eyetracking technology. I am currently setting up an eyetracking laboratory here at Oberlin.

I participate in the team-taught introductory course (The Study of Behavior), and teach Cognitive Psychology and Laboratory in Cognitive Psychology. I am also developing a seminar and an introductory course in psycholinguistics.

My research focuses on the sources of information that contribute to moment-by-moment language comprehension, including linguistic factors (such as syntax and semantics), as well as factors that come from the context of being involved in a conversation (such as the common ground between interlocutors, their spatial perspectives, or their eye gaze). I have also conducted eyetracking reading experiments that looked at how prior discourse context affects within-sentence ambiguity resolution.

Recent articles:

  • Hanna, J.E., Tanenhaus, M.K., & Trueswell, J.C. (2003). The effects of common ground and perspective on domains of referential interpretation. Journal of Memory and Language, 49, 43-61.

  • Hanna, J.E. & Tanenhaus, M.K. (2003). Pragmatic effects on reference resolution in a collaborative task: evidence from eye movements. Cognitive Science, 28, 105-115.

My partner and I are having fun exploring the area around Oberlin. I try to balance my life with swimming, choral singing, yoga, and getting outside (especially on the water, windsurfing and sailing) as much as possible.

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