Christopher A. Kurby

 Assistant Professor

 B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Northern Illinois University

 office: 2117 Au Sable Hall
 phone: (616) 331-2418

We are currently building an adult participant pool for studies on aging. If you are interested in learning more, please click here!

Cognitive Psychology, Event Cognition, Cognitive Aging

Courses Taught
PSY 364 - Life-Span Developmental Psychology
PSY 400 - Advanced Research in Psychology
Current Research Interests
I study how people comprehend and remember the events they experience. Within this general theme, I investigate how people understand the events described in the stories they read, the daily activities they engage in, and the movies they watch. The activities we perceive in everyday life are continuous, yet we typically remember them as composed of separate events. For example, a trip to the zoo breaks down into entering the park, visiting the animals, and exiting. Making a sandwich breaks down into collecting the ingredients, and assembling them. In order to comprehend events effectively, we must be able to break down activity into these part-subpart structures. I am interested in the causes and consequences of this segmentation on comprehension, and how this process changes as we age. How we perceive activity is likely related to how we produce it on our own. A long-term goal of my aging research is to understand this relation in order to improve performance in old age. I also study the kinds of representations people use when constructing event representations, particularly during language comprehension. A recent theory of comprehension argues that readers generate perceptual simulations of the events described by language. I study how these simulations may participate in comprehension and how they relate to readers' experience of mental imagery.
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Selected Publications

Kurby, C. A., Asiala, L. K. E., & Mills, S. R. (in press). Aging and the segmentation of narrative film. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. doi:10.1080/13825585.2013.832138 (pdf)

Bailey, H. R., Kurby, C. A., Giovannetti, T., & Zacks, J. M. (2013). Action perception predicts action performance. Neuropsychologia, 51(11), 2294–2304. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.06.022 (pdf)

Bailey, H.R., Zacks, J.M., Hambrick, D.Z., Zacks, R.T., Head, D., Kurby, C.A., & Sargent, J.Q. (2013). Medial temporal lobe volume predicts elder’s everyday memory. Psychological Science, 24(7), 1113–1122.
Kurby, C. A., & Zacks, J. M. (2013). The activation of modality-specific representations during discourse processing. Brain and Language, 126, 338–349. (pdf)

Ozuru, Y., Briner, S., Kurby, C. A., & McNamara, D. S. (2013). Comparing comprehension measured by multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue Canadienne de Psychologie Expérimentale, 67(3), 215–227. doi: (pdf)

Sargent, J. Q., Zacks, J. M., Hambrick, D. Z., Zacks, R. T., Kurby, C. A., Bailey, H. R., … Beck, T. M. (2013). Event segmentation ability uniquely predicts event memory. Cognition, 129, 241–255. (pdf)

Ozuru, Y., Kurby, C.A., & McNamara, D.S. (2012). The effect of metacomprehension judgment task on comprehension monitoring and metacognitive accuracy. Metacognition and Learning, 7, 113-131. (pdf)

Briner, S.W., Virtue, S., & Kurby, C.A. (2012). Processing causality in narrative events: Temporal order matters. Discourse Processes, 49, 61-77. (pdf)
Kurby, C. A., Magliano, J. P., Dandotkar, S., Woehrle, J., Gilliam, S., & McNamara, D. S. (2012). Changing how students process and comprehend texts with computer-based self-explanation training. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 47(4), 429–459. doi: (pdf)

Kurby, C.A., & Zacks, J.M. (2012). Starting from scratch and building brick by brick in comprehension. Memory & Cognition, 40, 812-826. (pdf)
Kang, S.H.K., Yap, M.J., Tse, C.S., & Kurby, C.A. (2011). Semantic Size Does Not Matter: “Bigger” Words Are Not Recognized Faster. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64, 1041-1047. NIHMSID: 287444. (pdf)

Kurby, C.A., & Zacks, J.M. (2011). Age differences in the perception of hierarchical structure in events. Memory & Cognition, 39, 75-91. NIHMSID: 263761.
Zacks, J.M., Kurby, C.A., Eisenberg, M.L., & Haroutunian, N. (2011). Prediction error associated with the perceptual segmentation of naturalistic events. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 4057-4066. (pdf)
Pickett, S.M., & Kurby, C.A (2010). The impact of experiential avoidance on the inference of characters’ emotions: evidence for an emotional processing bias. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 34, 493-500. PMCID: PMC3011885. (pdf)

Tse, C., Kurby, C.A., & Du, F. (2010). Perceptual simulations and linguistic representations have differential effects on speeded relatedness judgments and recognition memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 928-941. (pdf)

Kurby, C.A., Magliano, J.P., & Rapp, D.N. (2009). Those voices in your head: The cross modal activation of auditory images during reading. Cognition, 112, 457-461. (pdf)

Kurby, C.A., & Zacks, J.M. (2008). Segmentation in the perception and memory of events. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12, 72-79.
Rapp, D.N., & Kurby, C.A. (2008). The ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of learning: Internal representations and external visualizations. In J. K. Gilbert, M. Nakhleh, & M. Reiner, editors, Visualization: Theory and Practice in Science Education, The Netherlands, Springer. (pdf)

Page last modified March 29, 2014