Matthew Traxler

Matthew Traxler Portrait

Position Title
Professor of Psychology

1 Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, University of Oregon, 1993
  • M.S., Experimental Psychology, University of Oregon, 1990
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1989


In addition to his academic appointment in Psychology, Matthew Traxler is an affiliated faculty member of the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Association for the Advancement of Science, the Psychonomic Society and the American Psychological Society. He currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Memory and Language and is a consulting editor of The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. Previously, he served as associate editor of The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology and as editor of Language and Linguistics Compass.

Research Focus

Professor Traxler’s primary research interests center on the (largely) unconscious processes that underlie language comprehension. He is currently the primary investigator on an NIH-sponsored project that investigates the link between working memory capacity and the cognitive processes involves in syntactic parsing. Other recent research has investigated the semantic processing that occurs when default interpretations fail and the types of memory representations that facilitate processing of newly introduced concepts.


  • Traxler, M. J., Corina, D.P., Morford, J.,Hafer, S.F., & Hoversten, L. J. (in press). Deaf readers' response to syntactic complexity: Evidence from self-paced reading. Memory & Cognition.
  • Traxler, M. J. (in press). The Role of the Putative Mirror Neuron System in Language Comprehension. Language and Linguistics Compass.
  • Boudewyn, M. A., Zirnstein, M., Swaab, T. Y., & Traxler, M. J. (in press). Priming prepositional phrase attachment: Evidence from eye-tracking and ERPs. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
  • Tooley, K. M., Swaab, T. Y., Boudewyn, M. A., Zirnstein, M., & Traxler, M. J. (in press). Evidence for priming across intervening sentences during on-line sentence comprehension. Language and Cognitive Processes.
  • Traxler, M. J., Boudewyn, M., & Loudermilk, J. (in press). What's special about human language? The contents of the 'narrow' language faculty revisited. Language and Linguistics Compass.


Professor Traxler teaches in the areas of perception, cognition and cognitive neuroscience. He currently teaches courses in Language & Cognition, Psycholinguistics and General Psychology.