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Duane Watson

Professor of Psychology and Human Development
Frank W. Mayborn Chair in Cognitive Science

Duane Watson’s research focuses on the cognitive processes that underlie interactions between speakers and listeners.  In particular, he focuses on how gesture, pitch, rhythm and emphasis in speech is used in communication.  He also explores how individual differences in cognitive abilities and literacy influence language production, comprehension, and reading.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Kimball, A.E., Yiu, L.K., & Watson, D.G. (in press) Word recall is affected by surrounding metrial context. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, doi:

Myers, B.R. & Watson, D.G. (2019) Paying the meter: Effect of metrical similarity on word lengthening, Psychomic Bulletin & Review, doi:

Jacobs, C. L. , Cho, S-J, & Watson, D.G. (2019) Comprehension input leads to syntactic priming in production but speakers do not prime themselves, Cognitive Science, 43, doi: 10.1111/cogs.12749.

James, A.N., Fraundorf, S. H., Lee, E-K, & Watson, D.G.(2018) Individual differences in syntactic processing: Is there evidence for reader-text interactions? Journal of Memory and Language, 102, 155-181.

Harrington-Stack, C., James, A.,N., & Watson, D.G. (2018). A failure to replicate rapid syntactic adaptation in comprehension. Memory & Cognition, 102, 155-181.

Buxo-Lugo, A., Toscano, J., & Watson, D.G. (2016). Effects of participant engagement on prosodic prominence.  Discourse Processes, 55, 305-323.

Buxo-Lugo, A. & Watson, D.G. (2016). Evidence for the influence of syntax on prosodic parsing. Journal of Memory and Language, 90, 1-13.

Jacobs, C.L, Yiu, L.K., Watson, D.G., & Dell, G.S. (2015) Why are repeated words produced with reduced durations? Evidence from inner speech and homophone production. Journal of Memory and Language, 84, 37-48.

Yiu, L.K. & Watson, D.G. (2015). When overlap leads to competition: Effects of phonological encoding on word duration.  Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 22, 1701-1708

Watson, D. G., Buxó-Lugo, A., & Simmons, D. C. (2015). The effect of phonological encoding on word duration: Selection takes time. In L. Frazier & E. Gibson (Eds.), Explicit and Implicit Prosody in Sentence Processing: Studies in Honor of Janet Dean Fodor. New York: Springer International

Toscano, J.C., Buxó-Lugo, A., & Watson, D.G. (2015). Using game-based approaches to increase level of engagement in research and education. In S. Dikkers (Ed.), TeacherCraft: Using Minecraft for Teaching and Learning. Pittsburgh: ETC Press.

Arnold, J.E. & Watson, D.G. (2015). Synthesizing meaning and processing approaches to prosody: Performance matters.  Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 30, 88-102. 

Lewis, M.L. & Watson, D.G. (2015) Effects of lexical semantics on acoustic prominence.  Language and Cognition, 7, 1-21.

Fraundorf, S.H., Watson, D.G., & Benjamin, A.S. (2015).  Reduction in prosodic prominence predicts speakers' recall: Implications for theories of prosody. Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience, 30, 606-619