Skip To Navigation Skip To Content

Faculty and Research

Faculty Member

Ann West

Michael J. Wenger

Professor, Psychology 2 Partners Place Suite 100 405-325-3846 Ph.D., Experimental Psychology - State University of New York at Binghamton, 1994


Our work emphasizes the combined application of behavioral and electroencephalographic (EEG) methods, using the methods of computational neuroscience to link these variables.There are currently four major areas of emphasis in our lab:

1. Effects of brain iron deficiency and repletion on perception, memory, and cognition: In this line of work we are documenting (using a combination of behavioral, EEG, and MRI measures) the extent to which iron deficiency produce measurable, and correctable, changes in basic perceptual, mnemonic, and cognitive abilities. In addition, we are testing hypotheses regarding the effect of iron depletion and repletion on specific cortical and sub-cortical circuits that support learning, memory, and the interaction of attention with memory.
2. Theoretical and empirical characterizations of perceptual organization (configurality): Our lab, in partnership with Jim Townsend's lab at Indiana University, is pursuing a linked theoretical and empirical program aimed at developing and testing general, theoretically-grounded definitions of configurality, with a particular interest in facial perception and memory.
3. Behavioral regularities and neural mechanisms of perceptual learning: This work is pursuing two broad goals. The first is to provide simultaneous behavioral and neurophysiological evidence capable of supporting or refuting hypotheses of multiple, simultaneously-available levels of coding in visual perceptual learning. The second is to develop computational, biophysically-constrained models of the networks that support the learning and expression of visual perceptual learning.
We also have a line of work with collaborators at the Health Sciences Center. Our collaborators include Dr. Barbara Carlson, Dr. Linda Hershey, Dr. Melissa Craft, and Dr. Lauren Ethridge, and our efforts include the following:
1. Cerebral Oxygenation and Memory Consolidation in Elders with and without Mild Cognitive Impairment
2. "Chemobrain" and Aging in Breast Cancer Survivors
3. Description and Comparison of Cerebral Oxygenation and Cerebrovascular Reactivity in Lewy Body Dementia and Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Selected Publications:

Finkelstein, J. M., Mehta, S., Udipi, S. A., Ghugre, P. S., Luna, S.V., Wenger, M. J., Murray-Kolb, L. E., Przybyszewski, E. M., & Haas, J. D. (2015) A randomized trial of iron-biofortified pearl millet in school children in India. Journal of Nutrition 145(7):1576-81, doi: 10.3945/jn.114.208009.

Mestry, N., Menneer, T., Wenger, M. J., Benikos, N. P., & McCarthy, R. (2014) The role of configurality in the Thatcher illusion: An ERP study. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 22(2): 445-452.

De Moura, F. F., Palmer, A. C., Finkelstein, J. L., Haas, J. D., Murray, L. E., Wenger, M. J., Birol, E., Boy, E., & Pena-Rosas, J. P. (2014) Are biofortified staple food crops improving vitamin a and iron status in women and children? New evidence from efficacy trials. Advances in Nutrition 5: 568-570.

Haas, J. D., Rahn, M., Venkatramanan, S., Marquis, G. S., Wenger, M. J., Murray-Kolb, L. E., Wesley, A. S., & Reinhart, G. A. (2014) Double-fortified salt is efficacious in improving indicators of iron deficiency in female Indian tea pickers. Journal of Nutrition 144(6): 957-964.

Altieri, N. & Wenger, M. J. (2013) Neural dynamics of audiovisual speech integration under variable listening conditions: an individual participant analysis. Frontiers in Psychology 4, article 615.

Mestry, N., Menneer, T., Wenger, M. J., & Donnelly, N. (2012) Identifying sources of configurality in three face processing tasks. Frontiers in Psychology 3: 1-14.

Fitousi, D. & Wenger, M. J. (2011) Processing capacity under perceptual and cognitive load: A closer look at load theory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 37: 781-798.

Richards, H. J., Hadwin, J. A., Benson, V., Wenger, M. J., & Donnelly, N. (2011) The influence of anxiety on processing capacity for threat detection. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 18: 883-889.

Cornes, K., Donnelly, N., Godwin, H., & Wenger, M. J. (2011) Perceptual and decisional factors influencing the discrimination of inversion in the Thatcher illusion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 37: 645-668.

Wenger, M. J., Negash, S., Petersen, R. C., & Petersen, L. (2010). Modeling and estimating recall processing capacity: Sensitivity and diagnostic utility in application to mild cognitive impairment. Journal of Mathematical Psychology 54: 73-89.