James Bartlett

Ashbel Smith Professor
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology
Tags: Cognition and Neuroscience

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Psychology
Yale University - 1975
B.A. - Psychology
University of Texas at Austin - 1970

Research Areas

Research Interests

A cognitive psychologist by training, my research interests fall in the general area of nonverbal cognition with specific projects focused on: (a) human aging and memory, (b) long-term memory for faces, (c) perception of faces, (d) eyewitness memory, and (e) music cognition. My current NSF grant (with Jean Searcy and Amina Memon) supports a project on eyewitness testimony by young and old adults and has a combined theoretical and applied orientation. New research initiatives include neuroimaging of face recognition and relations of normal and pathological aging of human memory.


Bartlett, J. C., Shastri, K. K., Abdi, H. & Neville-Smith, M. (in press). Component Structure of Individual Differences in True and False Recognition of Faces. To appear in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition. In Press - Publication
Halpern, A. H. and Bartlett, J. C. (in press). Memory for melodies. In M. R. Jones, A. N. Popper & R. R. Fay (Eds.). Music Perception, NY: Springer-Verlag. In Press - Publication
Jones, T. C. & Bartlett, J. C. (2009). When false recognition is out of control: The case of facial conjunctions. Memory & Cognition, 37, 143-157. 2009 - Publication
Dowling, W. J., Bartlett, J. C., Halpern, A. R. & Andrews, M. W. (2008). Melody Recognition at Fast and Slow Tempos: Effects of Age, Experience, and Familiarity. Perception and Psychophysics, 70, 496-502. 2008 - Publication
Bartlett, J. C. & Memon, A. (2007). Eyewitness memory in young and older adults. In R. C. L. Lindsay , D. F. Ross, J. D. Read M. P. Toglia (Eds.). Handbook of Eyewitness Testimony, volume II. NY: Psychology Press (pp. 309-338. 2007 - Publication
Jones, T. C., Bartlett, J. C., & Wade, K. A. (2006). Nonverbal conjunction errors in recognition memory: Support for familiarity but not feature binding. Journal of Memory and Language, 55, 138-155. 2006 - Publication
Bartlett, J. C., Searcy, J. H. & Abdi, H. (2003). What are the routes to face recognition? To appear in G. Rhodes & M. Peterson (Eds.),The perception of faces, objects and scenes: Analytic and holistic processes NY: Oxford (pp. 21-52). 2003 - Publication
Memon, A., Bartlett, J. C., Rose, R. & Gray, C. (2003) The aging eyewitness: The effects of faceage and delay upon younger and older observers. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58, P338-P345. 2003 - Publication
Halpern, A. R. & Bartlett, J. C. (2002). Aging and memory for music: A review. Psychomusicology, 18, 10-27. 2002 - Publication
Memon, A. & Bartlett, J.C. (2002) The effects of verbalisation on face recognition. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16, 635-650. 2002 - Publication


Aging and false choosing: The effects of delay and face age on accuracy.
2000–2000 Memon, A., Rose, R. & Bartlett, J. C. Poster presented at the Eighth Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, April 26-29, 2000.
Invited presentation
2002–2002 Bartlett, J. C. Holistic and featural face processing. Invited presentation at the Meetings of the Southwestern Psychological Association, Corpus Christi, TX, April, 2002.
Conjunction Errors in Face Recognition: Are They Due to Unbound Features?
2004–2004 Bartlett, J. C. Paper presented at the 16th annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, Chicago, May 27-30, 2004
Dissociable effects of familiarity and nameability in memory for faces and melodies.
2006–2006 Bartlett, J. C., Halpern, A. H. & Birchfield, J. D. Paper presented at the 47th annual meetings of the Psychonomic Society, Houston, Texas, November, 2006).
Bartlett, J. C. Adult age differences in false recognition of faces: Laboratory and eyewitness identification tasks. Presentation at Symposium, Perceiving and Remembering Human Faces, held at the 108th annual meeting of the American Psychological Associat
2000–2000 Bartlett, J. C. Adult age differences in false recognition of faces: Laboratory and eyewitness identification tasks. Presentation at Symposium, Perceiving and Remembering Human Faces, held at the 108th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C., August, 2000.

Additional Information

Other Scholarly Activities and Affiliations
Member, The Psychonomic Society
The American Psychological Society
Southwestern Psychological Association
Configural Processing Consortium (CPC)

Organizer (with T. Tighe), Symposium on "Normal and Pathological Aging of Human Memory" at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Chicago, February, 1987.

Organizer (with B. Moore), Symposium on "Face Recognition by Computers and People" at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, San Francisco, February, 1993.

Organizer, Symposium on "Memory for Faces" at the International Conference on Face Processing, Cardiff, Wales, Sept. 23, 1993.

Organizer, Eighth annual meeting of "ARMADILLO" (an organization of cognitive psychologists in Texas and neighboring states), May 23-24, 1997.

Co-organizer and member, executive program committee for "ARMADILLO" (an organization of cognitive psychologists in Texas and neighboring states), October, 2002-present.

Editorial Board, Motivation and Emotion, 1994-1999.

Ad hoc reviewer:
National Science Foundation
Psychological Bulletin & Review
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Memory and Cognition
Psychology and Aging
Journal of Memory and Language
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General Memory
Journal of Gerontology
Child Development
Perception and Psychophysics
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Cognition
British Journal of Psychology
Music Perception
Psychological Science

Since completing my Ph.D. (Yale, 1975), my research and scholarly activities have focused on: (a) theoretical and applied aspects of human perception and memory for complex, multi-faceted objects and events including human faces, visual scenes, and melodies, (b) normal and pathological aging of perception and memory, and (c) the role of affect in perception and memory. My most recent articles concern the brain processes involved in perception and recognition of faces, reliability of eyewitness testimony in old age, and aging memory for faces and music.

These various strands of my research are tightly intertwined. For example, a recent project on aging and eyewitness identification was supported by the National Science Foundation examined how age-related deficits in laboratory tasks of nonverbal memory may extend to the real-world task of identifying suspected perpetrators of crimes in the lineup situation, and whether tests of neuropsychological dysfunction can be used to distinguish unreliable eyewitnesses. Another project supported by the National Institute on Aging, has examined how expertise might moderate age-related declines in cognitive function, taking music as a model domain in which expertise (training) as well as age of participants both can be examined. Another project is focused on how piecemeal features and configural information contribute to correct and false recognition of faces. This work uses a variety of behavioral paradigms and, most recently, brain-mapping (SPECT, fMRI) techniques in conjunction with neural network modelling. This work involves collaborations with a number of individuals, including Herve Abdi, James Jerger, and, more recently, Dr. M. Devous, Sr., of U.T. Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

My teaching interests include Introductory Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Science, Learning and Memory, Human Aging and Cognition and Behavioral Research Methods. I am an active contributor to the academic community, having recently served as Associate Dean of the School of Human Development and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at U. T. Dallas. I was recently elected chair of the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council, an active group of faculty from all U.T. System components who advice the Chancellor and Board of Regents on matters pertaining faculty quality, faculty governance, academic affairs and health affairs.

Academic Citizenship
  • Acting Head, Programs in Psychology and Human Development, June-August, 1978.
  • Member (elected), UT Dallas Academic Senate, 1978-79, 1980-83.
  • Member, UT Dallas Institutional Review Board for Research Involving Human Subjects, 1976-1984.
  • Member, UT Dallas Committee on Teacher Education, 1980-83.
  • Member (elected), Advisory Search Committee for the Selection of a President at The University of Texas at Dallas, 1981-
  • 1982.
  • Chairperson, Search Committee for Dean, School of Human Development, UT Dallas, 1981-1983 (successfully recruited Dr. Thomas Tighe, formally of Dartmouth), and 1988 (successfully recruited Dr. Bert Moore).
  • Chairperson, Graduate Affairs Committee, Program in Human Development, 1981-1983.
  • Member, UT Dallas Committee on Qualifications, 1984-1986.
  • Chairperson, Language and Cognition area of Ph.D. Program in Human Development and Communication Sciences, 1984-1987.
  • Member, UT Dallas Accreditation Self Study Graduate Program Committee, 1986-1987.
  • Member, UT Dallas Committee on Student Life, 1986-90.
  • Member, UT Dallas Committee on Educational Policy, 1989-90.
  • Chairperson, Committee for new M.S. program in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience, 1987-89.
  • Member, University Core Curriculum Advisory Committee, 1990-92
  • Member, University Committee on Transfer Admissions Policy, 1990-92
  • Associate Dean, School of Human Development, 1989-1992.
  • Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, University of Texas at Dallas, 1992-1994.
  • Chairperson, UT Dallas Committee on Educational Policy, 1994-96.
  • Member, Mission and Planning Committee of the School of Human Development, 1995-1999
  • Speaker (elected), UT Dallas Academic Senate, 1996-1998.
  • Member, University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council, 1994-present (Chair, Subcommitee on Faculty Quality, 1999-present).
  • Chair, University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council, 2004-5.
  • Secretary, University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council, 2006-present.
  • Chair, U. T. Dallas Committee on Faculty Standing and Conduct, 2005-6.

News Articles

School of Behavioral, Brain Sciences Adds Interim Dean, New Faculty
Dr. James Bartlett, professor of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology, has been named interim dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS). The school also has added three tenure-track faculty members to its ranks, two of whom focus on hearing and a third who is an expert at computational psychiatry. Each is expected to bring expertise that will help bolster the school’s academic and research programs.
Bartlett fills the role that had been held until recently by Dr. Bert Moore, who stepped down as dean after nearly 27 years. An Ashbel Smith Professor, Bartlett serves as program head of the PhD program in cognition and neuroscience. He also is a Fellow at the Center for Vital Longevity.


M.S. Theses
Paul Snelus (1977), Kathryn Long (1977), William C. Fields (1979), Alexandria Doyle (1979), James Porter (1980), Morti Gernsbacher (1980), Carol Spencer (1980), Georgia Burleson (1980), Wesley Regian (1982), Kathleen Kirby (1982), Therese DeNeal Wallace (1982), Rosemary East (1983), Marie Juneau (1984), Karen Hoppens (1985), Annette Fulton (1986), Mary Turner (1986), Michael Quinn (1987), Kevin Weaver (1990).
Ph.D. Dissertations
Fola Fagbemi (UT Dallas, 1987), Cynthia Sprague Hardesty (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, co-chair, 1989), Chris Sheldon (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, co-chair, 1990), Lueda Amerine (California School of Professional Psychology, 1990), Annette Fulton (UT Dallas, co-chair, 1990), Jean Searcy (UT Dallas, 1993), Kathryn Sue Byrd (UT Dallas, 1995), Deborah Atkins (UT Dallas, cochair, 1996), Gerald Epling (UT Dallas, 2000), Amanda Seipel (UT Dallas, 2002), Nicholas Furl (UT Dallas, 2004), Ann Medley (UT Dallas, 2007).


Auditory and Visual Memory Conjunction Memory
$394,801 - U.S. Veterans' Administration [2008–2009]
Eyewitness memory in older adults
$186,011 - National Science Foundation [1998–2002]
Memory characteristics of elderly eyewitnesses
$119,525 - National Science Foundation [1996–1998]
Aging in Perception and Cognition of Music
$279,892 - National Institute on Aging [1991–1995]
Human Aging and Face Memory
$134,860 - National Institute on Aging [1988–1991]