Faculty profile

Maryellen MacDonald

Maryellen MacDonald

Dept. of Psychology
532 Psychology
(608) 262-3986

Links: Department, Lab

Research Keywords

psycholinguistics, language comprehension, language production, language acquisition


  • Department of Psychology, Professor
  • UW-Madison Institute on Aging, affiliate
  • Director, Training Program in Language (NIH training grant)

Current Projects

  • Co-director, Language & Cognitive Neuroscience Lab
  • Senior Center Investigator, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition

Research Collaborators

Representative Classes

  • Psych 733: Language Comprehension
  • Psych 733: Language Production
  • Psych 413: Language, Mind and Brain

Research Statement

My research includes: human language comprehension, language production and the relationship between these skills; the role of experience in language processing in adults and children; the relationship between language processing and verbal working memory abilities; and language processing abilities in healthy aging and in Alzheimer's Disease.

Selected Publications

  • MacDonald, M.C. & Christiansen, M.H. (2002). Reassessing working memory: A comment on Just & Carpenter (1992) and Waters & Caplan (1996). Psychological Review 109, 35-54.
  • MacDonald, M.C. (1999). Distributional information in language comprehension, production, and acquisition: Three puzzles and a more. In B. MacWhinney (Ed.), The Emergence of Language. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Haskell, T.R. & MacDonald, M.C. (2005). Constituent structure and linear order in language production: Evidence from subject verb agreement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition 35, 891-904.
  • Haskell, T.R., MacDonald, M.C., & Seidenberg, M.S. (2003). Language learning and innateness: Some implications of compunds research. Cognitive Psychology 47, 119-163.
  • MacDonald, M.C., Almor, A., Henderson, V.W., Kempler, D., & Andersen, E.S. (2001). Assessing working memory and language comprehension in Alzheimer's Disease. Brain and Language 78, 17-42.