gerry altmann
Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, at the University of Connecticut
Director, Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences

contact information

PhD - 1985 in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh University
BSc - 1981 (1st class with Honours) in Experimental Psychology from Sussex University
Languages spoken: English, Italian, Spanish, some French, 5 words German, 1 word Japanese. update: a rude phrase in Greek.
employment history
From August 2014: Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut, USA.
1996 - 2014 Department of Psychology, University of York
1988 - 1996 (lecturer / senior lecturer) Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex
1984 - 1988 (research fellow) Centre for Speech Technology Research, Department of Linguistics, Edinburgh University
selfless acts of altruism
2006 - 2014 Editor-in-Chief, Cognition.
2011 - 2013 Economic and Social Research Council Grants Assessment Panel (GAP A)
2005 - 2010 Language and Communication (LCOM) grants review panel, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
2004 - 2007 Honorary Secretary, Experimental Psychology Society
1993 - 1995 Associate Editor, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
1990 - 2002 Managing Editor, Language and Cognitive Processes
1994 - present. Parent, Sam and Jamie. And now Kai also.
1960 - 1990 A few things of note, but they were so long ago...
most recent award
2000 - British Psychological Society Book Award for The ascent of Babel (1998, Oxford University Press). Actually, this is my only award, except for a couple of school prizes and a scholarship to my secondary school...

2015 - present (@ UConn) Graduate seminar on Event Cognition
2015 - present (@ UConn) Psyc 3500: Introduction to Psychology of Language (co-taught with Eiling Yee)
2005 - 2014 (@ York) MSc. course Research Design and Statistics
2005 only (@ York) 1st year course Developmental Psychology (co-taught with Emma Hayou-Thomas)
1996 - 2005 (@ York) 2nd year course Hearing Speech and Language (co-taught with Peter Bailey)
1996 - 2014 (@ York) 3rd year advanced course The Language Machine: From sentences to meaning (co-taught since 2005 with Silvia Gennari)
1993 - 1995 (@ Sussex) 3rd year advanced course Spoken Language Understanding
1993 - 1995 (@ Sussex) 2nd year course Language and Memory (co-taught)
1990 - 1993 (@ Sussex) 2nd year course Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science
1988 - 1993 (@ Sussex) 1st year course Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Programming
1988 - 1989 (@ Sussex) 3rd year advanced course Artificial Intelligence
2011-2014 £595,844 from ESRC “Language-induced event-representation: competition and multiple object instantiation”. Ref RES-062-23-2749. Awarded to Altmann & Kamide.

2008-2011 £369,879 from ESRC “From language-mediated eye movements to goal-directed action: Mapping language onto perception and action“. Ref RES-063-27-0138

£29,670 from the Hull-York Medical School on Eye movements and hallucination

2005-2008 £274,588 from The Wellcome Trust "Language processing situated in a visual world: Typical and atypical processes". Refs. 076702/Z/05/Z & 076702/B/05/Z. Awarded to Altmann (U. York: 60%) and Nation (U. Oxford: 40%).

2000-2004 £152,418 from MRC “Integrating language with the visual world: Representation and process”. Ref. G0000224.

2000-2003 £118,788 from ESRC “Artificial Grammar Learning in multiple domains: Representation and process”. Ref. R000238380.

1999-2000 £40,966 from ESRC “Language-mediated eye movements and predictive language processing”. Ref. R000222798.

1998 £39,248 from The Wellcome Trust to purchase an ISCAN head-mounted eye-tracker with a child headmount. Awarded to Altmann, Nation, and Snowling.

1998-2001 £103,996 from MRC “Language and emotion: separation and integration”. Ref. G9812945. Awarded to Young, Ellis, and Altmann.

1999-2004 £27,519 from MRC “Development, integration and disorders of language and mind”. Ref. G980528. Co-operative group status awarded to Ellis, Altmann, Hulme, Snowling, Young, & Brown.

1997-2000 £129,216 from MRC “Monitoring eye movements during the integration of sentential and visual information”. Ref. G9628472N.

1997 £10,000 from the Royal Society towards eye-tracking equipment.

1996-1997 £6,000 from York University Innovation and Research Priming Fund "Measuring Eye Movements in Response to Sentential Descriptions of Visual Scenes".

1995-1998 £104,420 from ESRC "The nature of implicit knowledge and its relevance to natural language processing" Ref. R000236338. Awarded to Dienes and Altmann.

1995 £23,125 from the European Commission for a 3rd meeting of the workshop on "Cognitive Models of Speech Processing".

1994-1997 £96,410 from ESRC "Thematic roles in parsing: Assigning roles and resolving ambiguities" Ref. R000234973. Awarded to Altmann and Garnham

1992-1995 £116,000 from MRC/SERC/ESRC "Multiple task learning in PDP systems and models of implicit learning in humans" Ref. G9110951. Awarded to Dienes and Altmann.

1993-1994 £28,403 from MRC "Eye movements and coordination: A new tool for investigating analysis and re-analysis during sentence processing" Ref. G9302037N. Awarded to Altmann and Garnham.

1990-1993 £83,323 from MRC for the UK component of the HFSP funded project Processing Consequences of language phonologies. Awarded to Cutler, Morton, and Altmann

1990-1993 £117,424 from MRC/SERC/ESRC "Parsing in context: Computational and psycholinguistic approaches to resolving ambiguity during sentence processing" Ref. SPG8920151. Awarded to Altmann and Garnham.

1988-90 £30,000 from British Telecom International for two workshops on "Cognitive Models of Speech Processing: Psycholinguistic and Computational Perspectives".

1990 £6821 from the Royal Society (RSRG 10782) for equipment to work on compressed speech.

1988 £3400 from The American Association for Artificial Intelligence to fund Cognitive Models workshop.
publications (view them in Google Scholar)
Altmann, G.T.M. (in preparation, seemingly forever). Psycholinguistics: Language, Mind and Understanding. Oxford University Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2017). Abstraction and generalization in statistical learning: implications for the relationship between semantic types and episodic tokens. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 372(1711): 20160060.

Staudte, M. & Altmann, G.T.M. (2016).Recalling what was where when seeing nothing there. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 24(2), 400-407.

Solomon, S. H., Hindy, N. C., Altmann, G. T., & Thompson-Schill, S. L. (2015). Competition between mutually exclusive object states in event comprehension. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 27(12), 2324-2338.

Hindy, N. C., Solomon, S. H., Altmann, G. T., & Thompson-Schill, S. L. (2015). A cortical network for the encoding of object change. Cerebral Cortex, 25(4), 884-894.

Kukona, A., Altmann, G.T.M., & Kamide, Y. (2014). Knowing what, where, and when: Event comprehension in language processing. Cognition, 131, 25-31.

Hindy, N.C., Solomon, S.H., Altmann, G.T.M., Kalenik, E., & Thompson-Schill, S.L. (2013). A Cortical Network for the Encoding of Object Change. Cerebral Cortex. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht275

Marsden, E., Altmann, G.T.M., St. Claire, M. (2013). Priming of verb inflections in L1 and L2 French: A comparison of ‘redundant’ versus ‘non-redundant’ training conditions.  International Review of Applied Linguistics for Language Education, 51 (3), 271-298.

Dumitru, M.L., Joergensen, G.H., Cruickshank, A.G., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2013). Language-guided visual processing affects reasoning: The role of referential and spatial anchoring. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (2), 562-571.

Trenkij, D., Mirkovic, J., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2013). Real-time grammar processing by native and non-native speakers: Constructions unique to the second language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.  doi:10.1017/S1366728913000321.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2013). Anticipating the garden path: The horse raced past the barn ate the cake. In M. Sanz, I. Laka, M. Tanenhaus (Eds.) Language Down The Garden Path: The Cognitive and Biological Basis for Linguistic Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hindy, N.C., Altmann, G.T.M., Kalenik, E., & Thomspon-Schill, S.L. (2012). The effect of object-state changes on event processing: Do objects compete with themselves? The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(17), 5795–5803.

Salverda, A.P., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2011). Attentional capture of objects referred to by spoken language. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 37, 1122–1133.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2011). Language can mediate eye movement control within 100 milliseconds, regardless of whether there is anything to move the eyes to. Acta Psychologica, 137(2), 190–200.

Weighall, A., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2011). The role of working memory and contextual constraints in children’s processing of relative clauses. Journal of Child Language, 38(3), 579–605.

Huettig, F., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2011). Looking at anything that is green when hearing ‘frog’ - How object surface colour and stored object colour knowledge influence language-mediated overt attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(1), 122–145.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2011). The mediation of eye movements by spoken language. In. S.P. Liversedge, I.D. Gilchrist, & S. Everling (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Eye Movements. Oxford: OUP. pp. 979-1003.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2010). Why emergentist accounts of cognition are more theoretically constraining than structured probability accounts. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14, 340.

Richardson, D.C., Altmann, G.T.M., Spivey, M. J., & Hoover, M.A. (2009). Much ado about eye movements to nothing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 235-236.

Altmann, G.T.M. and Mirkovic, J. (2009). Incrementality and prediction in human sentence processing. Cognitive Science, 33, 583-609.

Altmann, G.T.M. and Kamide, Y. (2009). Discourse-mediation of the mapping between language and the visual world: eye-movements and mental representation. Cognition, 111, 55-71.

Altmann, G.T.M. and Kamide, Y. (2007). The real-time mediation of visual attention by language and world knowledge: Linking anticipatory (and other) eye movements to linguistic processing. Journal of Memory and Language, 57, 502-518.

Huettig, F., and Altmann, G.T.M. (2007). Visual-shape competition and the control of eye fixation during the processing of unambiguous and ambiguous words. Visual Cognition, 15(8), 985-1018.

Altmann, G.T.M.
(2006). History of Psycholinguistics. in K. Brown (ed). The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd edition). Elsevier.

Huettig, F., Quinlan, P., McDonald, S., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2006). Models of high-dimensional semantic space predict language-mediated eye movements in the visual world. Acta Psychologica. 121, 65-80.

Huettig, F. & Altmann, G.T.M. (2005). Word meaning and the control of eye fixation: semantic competitor effects and the visual world paradigm. Cognition, 96(1), 23-32.

Huettig, F. & Altmann, G.T.M. (2004). Language-mediated eye movements and the resolution of lexical ambiguity. In M. Carreiras & C. Clifton (Eds.) The on-line study of sentence comprehension: Eye-tracking, ERP, and beyond. (pp. 187-207). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Kamide, Y., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2004) The time-course of constraint-application during sentence processing in visual contexts: Anticipatory eye-movements in English and Japanese. In M. Tanenhaus & J. Trueswell (Eds.) World Situated Language Use: Psycholinguistic, Linguistic and Computational Perspectives on Bridging the Product and Action Traditions. MIT Press.

Altmann, G.T.M., & Kamide, Y. (2004) Now you see it, now you don't: mediating the mapping between language and the visual world. In J. Henderson and F. Ferreira (Eds.) The integration of language, vision and action. pp. 347-386. Psychology Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2004) Language-mediated eye movements in the absence of a visual world: The 'blank screen paradigm'. Cognition. 93, 79-87.

Nation, K., Marshall, C., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2003) Investigating individual differences in children's real-time sentence comprehension using language-mediated eye movements. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 86, 314-329.

Kamide, Y., Altmann, G.T.M., & Haywood, S. (2003). The time-course of prediction in incremental sentence processing: Evidence from anticipatory eye-movements. Journal of Memory and Language. 49, 133-159.

Dienes, Z. and Altmann, G.T.M. (2003). Measuring learning using an untrained control group: Comment on R. Reber and P. Perruchet. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Section A: Human Experimental Psychology. 56A(1), 117-123.

Kamide, Y., Scheepers, C., & Altmann, G.T.M. (2003) Integration of syntactic and semantic information in predictive processing: A cross-linguistic study in German and English. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. 32(1), 37-55.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2002). Statistical Learning in Infants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 99(24), 15250–15251.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2002). Learning and development in neural networks: the importance of prior experience. Cognition, 85(2), 43-50.

Altmann, G.T.M. (ed) (2002). Psycholinguistics: Critical concepts. (Vols 1-6) Routledge

Altmann, G.T.M. (2001). Predicting thematic role assignments in context. In P. Merlo & S. Stevenson (Eds. ) The Lexical Basis of Sentence Processing: Formal, Computational, and Experimental Issues. John Benjamins Publishers.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2001). The mechanics of language: Psycholinguistics in review. The British Journal of Psychology. 92, 129–170.

Tunney, R. J. and Altmann, G.T.M. (2001). Two modes of transfer in Artificial Grammar learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 27(3), 614–639.

Altmann, G.T.M. (2000). Late closure in context: Some implications for parsimony. In M. Crocker, M. Pickering, and C. Clifton (Eds. ) Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing. Cambridge University Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1999). Review of Tartter Language and its Normal Processing. Perception, 28(5), 665-667.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1999). Thematic role assignment in context. Journal of Memory and Language , 41, 124–145.

Altmann, G.T.M. and Dienes, Z. (1999). Rule learning by seven-month-old infants and neural networks. Science. 284, 875.

Altmann, G.T.M. and Kamide, Y. (1999). Incremental interpretation at verbs: Restricting the domain of subsequent reference. Cognition, 73(3), 247–264.

Dienes, Z. , Altmann, G.T.M. , & Gao, S-J. (1999). Mapping across domains without feedback: A neural network model of transfer of implicit knowledge. Cognitive Science. 23(1), 53-82.

Tunney, R. J. and Altmann, G.T.M. (1999). The transfer effect in artificial grammar learning: Re-appraising the evidence on the transfer of sequential dependencies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 25(5), 1322-1333.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1998). Ambiguity in Sentence Processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2(4), 146-152.

Altmann, G.T.M., van Nice, K. , Garnham, A. , & Henstra, J. A. (1998). Late closure in context. Journal of Memory and Language. 38(4), 459-484.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1997). The Ascent of Babel: An exploration of language, mind, and understanding. Oxford University Press. Translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Czech, and Korean. Winner 2000 British Psychological Society Book Award.

Altmann, G.T.M. (ed) (1997). Cognitive models of speech processing: psycholinguistic and computational perspectives on the lexicon. Taylor & Francis. 1997.

Dienes, Z. & Altmann, G.T.M. (1997). Transfer of implicit knowledge across domains? How implicit and how abstract? In D. Berry (Ed. ) , How implicit is implicit learning? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1996). Accounting for parsing principles: From parsing preferences to language acquisition. In T. Inui & J. McClelland (Eds. ) Attention and Performance XVI. MIT Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1995). Review of Clifton, Frazier, & Rayner Perspectives on Sentence Processing. Language and Speech, 38(2), 207-216.

Altmann, G.T.M. , Dienes, Z. , & Goode, A. (1995). On the modality-independence of implicitly learned grammatical knowledge. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(4), 899-912.

Dienes, Z. , Altmann, G.T.M. , Gao, S-J. , & Goode, A. (1995). The transfer of implicit knowledge across domains. Abstracted in Language and Cognitive Processes. 10(3/4), 363-367.

Dienes, Z. , Altmann, G.T.M. , Kwan, L. , & Goode, A. (1995). Unconscious knowledge of artificial grammars is applied strategically. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(5), 1322-1338.

Dienes, Z. D. , Altmann, G.T.M. , & Gao, S-J. (1995). Mapping across domains without feedback: A neural network model of transfer of implicit knowledge. In L. S. Smith & P. J. B. Hanckock (Eds. ) Neural Computation and Psychology, Stirling 1994. Springer.

Garnham, A. and Altmann, G.T.M. (1995). Context and Parsing. Abstracted in Language and Cognitive Processes. 10(3/4), 377-381.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1994). Regression Contingent Analyses of Eye Movements During Sentence Processing. Memory & Cognition, 22(3), 286-290.

Altmann, G.T.M. , Garnham, A. , & Henstra, J. A. (1994). Effects of syntax in human sentence parsing: Evidence against a structure-based proposal mechanism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20(1), 209-216.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1993). Review of Pritchett Grammatical competence and parsing performance. Computational Linguistics.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1993). Parsing Syntactic Structure. In The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Pergamon Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. and Shillcock, R. C. (eds) (1993). Cognitive models of speech processing: The Second Sperlonga Meeting. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, UK.

Mehler, J. , Sebastian, N. , Altmann, G. , Dupoux, E. , Christophe, A. , & Pallier, C. (1993). Understanding Compressed Sentences: The Role of Rhythm and Meaning. In P. Tallal, A. M. Galaburda, R. R. Llinas, & C. von Euler (Eds. ) Temporal Information Processing in the Nervous System: Special Reference to Dyslexia and Dysphasia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 682. pp. 272-282.

Shillcock, R. C. , & Altmann, G.T.M. (1993). Cognitive Models of Speech Processing: The Second Sperlonga Workshop. Overview. In G.T.M. Altmann and R. C. Shillcock (eds) Cognitive Models of Speech Processing II. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, UK.

Altmann, G.T.M., Garnham, A., & Dennis, Y. (1992). Avoiding the garden path: Eye movements in context. Journal of Memory and Language, 31, 685-712.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1991). Review of Clark Microcognition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1990). Review of Caplan & Hildebrandt Disorders of syntactic comprehension. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1990). Lexical statistics and cognitive models of speech processing. In G.T.M. Altmann (Ed) Cognitive Models of Speech Processing. MIT Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1990). Cognitive models of speech processing: An introduction. In G.T.M. Altmann (Ed) Cognitive Models of Speech Processing. MIT Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (ed) (1990). Cognitive models of speech processing: psycholinguistic and computational perspectives. MIT Press/Bradford Books.

Thompson, H. S. , & Altmann, G.T.M. (1990). Modularity compromised. In G.T.M. Altmann (Ed) Cognitive Models of Speech Processing. MIT Press.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1989). Psycholinguistic implications in computer simulation of natural language processing. In W. Lenders (Ed) Handbook of Computational Linguistics, De Gruyter.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1989). Parsing and Interpretation: An Introduction. Language and Cognitive Processes, 4(3/4), SI 1-19.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1989). Cognitive models of speech processing: psycholinguistic and computational perspectives. AI Magazine, 10(4), 20-22.

Altmann, G.T.M. (ed) (1989). Parsing and Interpretation. A special issue of Language and Cognitive Processes. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Altmann, G.T.M. & Carter, D. (1989). Lexical stress and lexical discriminability: stressed syllables are more informative, but why? Computer Speech and Language, 3, 265-275.

Steedman, M. J. , & Altmann, G.T.M. (1989). Ambiguity in context: A reply. Language and Cognitive Processes, 4(3/4), SI 105-122.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1988). Ambiguity, parsing strategies, and computational models. Language and Cognitive Processes. 3(2), 73-97.

Altmann, G.T.M. & Steedman, M. J. (1988). Interaction with context during human sentence processing. Cognition. 30, 191-238.

Bard, E. G. , Shillcock, R. C. , & Altmann, G.T.M. (1988). The recognition of words after their acoustic offsets in spontaneous speech: effects of subsequent context. Perception and Psychophysics. 44(5), 395-408.

Altmann, G.T.M. (1987). Modularity and Interaction in Sentence Processing. In J. L. Garfield (Ed) , Modularity in Knowledge Representation and Natural Language Understanding. MIT Press/Bradford Books.

Altmann, G.T.M. & Shillcock, R. C. (1986). Statistical studies of the lexicon. Association Europeenne de psycholinguistique, Newsletter no. 13.

That's it... no more (except conference proceedings etc.)
claim to fame...
2000 onwards: A photographic portrait of me, taken by Louise Bobbé, is officially a National Treasure. Beat that... Not much chance of Nicholas Cage wanting to hunt it down, though...