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Department Faculty

Richard J Jagacinski

My bachelor’s degree is in electrical engineering from Princeton University, and my doctoral degree is in experimental psychology from the University of Michigan. My research explores rhythm in athletic and musical performance (e.g., golf, drumming), attention and memory in vehicular control, perceptual-motor skills in older adults, and creative behavior. My teaching explores perceptual-motor control and learning, the behavioral impacts of technology on quality of life, parallels between decision making and movement control in dynamic contexts, and research methods.

Courses Taught

Psychology 5309 -- Human Motor Control and Learning
This course examines the processes underlying the performance, learning, and adaptation of movement skills such as walking, running, driving, drumming, catching, golfing, text editing, and social communication. Motion skills are often sophisticated in their behavioral organization and reflect implicit problem solving in coordinating multiple limbs and meeting environmental demands. Motion patterns can also be used to make inferences about underlying cognitive processes such as selective perception, attention, and memory in the context of action. Analyzing motion is therefore an important aspect of understanding human behavior. Graduate and upper level undergraduate students from all departments are welcome.

Psychology 5620 -- Technology, Efficiency, and Happiness
This course examines various ways of evaluating behavioral aspects of new technologies (e.g., mobile communication devices, social media, social robots, transportation innovations, sports equipment). Many new products seem like they might improve our lives through increased efficiency, convenience, or power in performing specific tasks. However, technology often has hidden costs and benefits such as unexpected effects on social behavior and cultural values, new forms of distributed cognition, increased multi-tasking, and destabilizing environmental impacts. It is therefore difficult to predict whether new technology will make us happy, enhance social interactions, increase creativity, or generally improve our quality of life. This course will consider many behavioral dimensions of technology so that we can make informed decisions in designing, choosing, and using new devices. Graduate and upper level undergraduate students from all departments are welcome.

Psychology 7816 – Action and Decision Making
Action and decision-making in driving, flying, product adoption, resource management, and policy evaluation involve dynamic interactions between people and the environment that extend over much longer periods of time than typical discrete reaction time tasks. This course will introduce control theory, a set of mathematical tools for analyzing the stability and efficiency of such extended interactions. Spatio-temporal measures of selective perception, attention, and memory inferred from patterns of anticipation and error correction will also be discussed. Graduate students from all departments are welcome.

Selected Publications

Liao, M., Jagacinski, R. J., & Greenberg, N. (1997). Quantifying the performance limitations of older and younger adults in a target acquisition task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 23, 1644-1664.

Jagacinski, R. J., Peper, C. E., & Beek, P. J. (2000). Dynamic, stochastic, and topological aspects of polyrhythmic performance. Journal of Motor Behavior, 32, 323-336.

Jagacinski, R. J. & Flach, J. M. (2003). Control theory for humans: Quantitative approaches to modeling performance. Mahwah, New Jersey: Erlbaum.

Jagacinski, R. J. (2010). A geometrical view of the Crucifix: A call to novel acts of kindness. Parabola, 35(4), 100-103.

Kim, T., Jagacinski, R. J., & Lavender, S. A. (2011). Age-related differences in the coordinative structure of the golf swing. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43, 433-444.

Klapp, S. T. & Jagacinski, R. J. (2011). Gestalt principles in the control of motor action. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 443-462.

Charyton, C., Holden, J. G., Jagacinski, R. J., & Elliott, J. O. (2012). A historical and fractal perspective on the life and saxophone solos of John Coltrane. Jazz Perspectives, 6(3), 311-335.

Jagacinski, R. J., Rizzi,E., Kim, T., Lavender, S. A., Speller, L. F., & Klapp, S. T. (2016). Parallel streams vs. integrated timing in multi-limb pattern generation: A test of Korte’s Third Law. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42, 1703-1715.

Jagacinski, R. J., Hammond, G. H., & Rizzi, E. (2017). Measuring memory and attention to preview in motion. Human Factors, 59, 796-810.


208 Lazenby Hall
1827 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-1870