Alan W Kersten

Associate Professor

Department of Psychology

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton FL 33431-0991
Fax: 561/297-2160

General Research Interests

My research investigates how people learn to use language to convey information about perceived events. This research investigates language learning in both children and adults, with the goal of understanding how children and adults differ in their language learning competencies and language learning strategies. A better understanding of these differences could allow for the creation of better techniques for training adults to use a second language. As part of this general goal of understanding how people learn to represent events in language, my research also examines the nature of event representations in nonlinguistic cognition. A better understanding of the mapping between event representations in language and in nonlinguistic cognition could allow for a better understanding of why some aspects of language learning are relatively easy (because they can be directly mapped onto nonlinguistic cognitive representations) and why some aspects of language learning are very difficult (because no such direct mappings are possible).

Publications and Refereed Conference Proceedings (click on the title to download a pdf)

Kersten, A.W., Meissner, C.A., Lechuga, J., Schwartz, B.L., Albrechtsen, J.S., & Iglesias, A. (in press). English speakers attend more strongly than Spanish speakers to manner of motion when classifying novel objects and events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Chin, S.L., & Kersten, A.W. (in press). The application of the Less is More hypothesis in foreign language learning. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Kersten, A.W., & Earles, J.L. (in press). Effects of aging, distraction, and response pressure on the binding of actors and actions. Psychology and Aging.

Earles, J.L., Kersten, A.W., Curtayne, E.S., & Perle, J.G. (2008). That's the man who did it, or was it a woman? Actor similarity and binding errors in event memory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15, 1185-1189.

Kersten, A.W., Earles, J.L., Curtayne, E.S., & Lane, J.C. (2008). Adult age differences in binding actors and actions in memory for events. Memory & Cognition, 36, 119-131.

Kersten, A.W., Smith, L.B., & Yoshida, H. (2006). Influences of object knowledge on the acquisition of verbs in Japanese and English-speaking children. In K. Hirsh-Pasek and R. Golinkoff (Eds.), Action meets word: How children learn verbs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kersten, A.W. (2006). Bridging the gap between perception and cognition. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 275-278.

Earles, J.L., Kersten, A.W., Mas, B.B., & Miccio, D.M. (2004). Aging and memory for self-performed tasks: Effects of task difficulty and time pressure. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 59, P285-P293.

Kersten, A.W., & Earles, J.L. (2004). Semantic context influences memory for verbs more than memory for nouns. Memory & Cognition, 32, 198-211.

Kersten, A.W. (2003). Verbs and nouns convey different types of motion in event descriptions. Linguistics, 41, 917-945.

Goldstone, R.L., & Kersten, A.W. (2003). Concepts and categorization. In A.F. Healy & R.W. Proctor (Eds.), Experimental Psychology (pp. 599-621). Volume 4 in I.B. Weiner (Editor-in-Chief), Handbook of psychology. New York: Wiley.

Earles, J.L., & Kersten, A.W. (2002). Directed forgetting of actions by younger and older adults. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 9, 383-388.

Kersten, A.W., & Smith, L.B. (2002). Attention to novel objects during verb learning. Child Development, 73, 93-109.

Kersten, A.W., & Earles, J.L. (2001). Less really is more for adults learning a miniature artificial language. Journal of Memory and Language, 44, 250-273.

Earles, J.L., & Kersten, A.W. (2000). Adult age differences in memory for verbs and nouns. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 7, 130-139.

Goldstone, R. L., Steyvers, M., Spencer-Smith, J., & Kersten, A. (2000). Interactions between perceptual and conceptual learning. In E. Diettrich & A.B. Markman (Eds.), Cognitive dynamics: Conceptual and representational change in humans and machines. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Earles, J.L., & Kersten, A.W. (1999). Processing speed and adult age differences in activity memory. Experimental Aging Research, 25, 243-253.

Earles, J.L., Kersten, A.W., Turner, J.M., & McMullen, J. (1999). Influences of age, performance, and context on verbatim and gist recall of verb-noun pairs. Journal of General Psychology, 126, 97-110.

Kersten, A.W., Goldstone, R.L., & Schaffert, A. (1998). Two competing attentional mechanisms in category learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24, 1437-1458.

Kersten, A.W. (1998b). An examination of the distinction between nouns and verbs: Associations with two different kinds of motion. Memory and Cognition, 26, 1214-1232.

Earles, J.L., & Kersten, A.W. (1998). Influences of age and perceived activity difficulty on activity recall. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 53B, P324-P328.

Kersten, A.W. (1998a). A division of labor between nouns and verbs in the representation of motion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 127, 34-54.

Kersten, A.W., & Billman, D.O. (1997). Event category learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 23, 638-658.

Kersten, A.W., & Billman, D.O. (1995). The roles of motion and moving parts in noun and verb meanings. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

Salthouse, T.A., & Kersten, A.W. (1993). Decomposing adult age differences in symbol arithmetic. Memory and Cognition, 21, 699-710.

Kersten, A.W., & Billman, D.O. (1992). The role of correlational structure in learning event categories. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

Click here to see my complete Vita.

Click here to see my Statement of Research Interests.

Last revised 1100 Wednesday 30th June 2010