• 3696 Citations
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Personal profile


I am a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. My research is directed towards understanding the lawful dynamics of human perception, action, and cognition. I have expertise in experimental and applied psychology, cognitive science, human-movement science, perception-action, joint-action and social coordination, virtual-reality, complex systems, quantitative and statistical analysis methods, and dynamical modeling. I teach a range of graduate and undergraduate courses on these topics, as well as workshops on nonlinear time-series analysis and dynamical systems modeling.

My full CV, with all grants and activities, can be accessed here.

Research interests

As an experimental psychologist/cognitive scientist, with expertise in embodied cognition, social and perception-action psychology, complex systems, and nonlinear dynamics, my research is directed towards identifying and modeling the lawful processes that underlie human perception, action, and cognition, and the degree to which these lawful processes shape and constrain human knowledge, creativity, and learning. I am particularly interested in understanding and modeling how the behavioral dynamics of everyday social and multi-agent behavior emerge from the complex, nonlinear interactions that occur between the physical, biomechanical, neural, informational, and social/cultural properties of agent-environment systems. To this end, advancing the methodological and analytic tools of complexity science, including dynamical systems modeling, nonlinear time-series analysis, far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics, and symmetry principles within the fields of psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, and neuroscience have become a prominent feature of my research program. Given that my basic research findings often have implications for the assessment and understanding of social deficit disorders (e.g., Autism) and for the development of robust human-machine (robotic) systems, I have also conduct applied research within these domains. 

Research student supervision

I routinely supervise undergraduate, Honours, M.S and PhD students.  In the last 5-years, I have supervised numerous undergraduate and Honours projects, fourteen Masters students and twelve PhD students. My primary PhD supervisees have academic positions at such institutions as Stanford, Harvard and UC San Diego. In the next 3-years at MQ, 2 of my supervisees will complete PhDs, and I plan on recruiting three new Masters and PhD students.


I have taught a wide range of theoretical and quantitative courses in psychology, cognitive science, data analytics, and mathematical modeling. This includes undergraduate courses on psychological research, sensation and perception, perception-action, motor control, complex social and biological systems, and computer programing for social and behavioral science research, as well as advanced graduate level classes on statistical methods, behavioral time-series analysis, and complex systems and nonlinear dynamics modeling. My teaching philosophy is that students learn via active engagement and by integrating theoretical perspectives with practical hands-on research experience. 

External positions

Director, American Psychological Associations Advanced Training Institute on Nonlinear Methods for Psychological Science


Consulting Editor, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

2014 → …

Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

1 Sep 200931 Aug 2017

Assistant Professor, Colby College

1 Jul 200631 Aug 2009

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Projects 2003 2023

Research Outputs 2001 2019

A hierarchical behavioral dynamic approach for naturally adaptive human-agent pick-and-place interactions

Lamb, M., Nalepka, P., Kallen, R. W., Lorenz, T., Harrison, S. J., Minai, A. A. & Richardson, M. J., 2019, In : Complexity. 2019, p. 1-16 16 p., 5964632.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Human robot interaction
Dynamic models

Complex dynamical systems in human development

Cox, R. F. A., Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Richardson, M. J., Yu, C. & Frank, T. D., 1 Jul 2019, In : Complexity. 2019, 3 p., 5010413.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearch

Open Access

Effects of task constraint on action dynamics

Nordbeck, P. C., Soter, L. K., Viklund, J. S., Beckmann, E. A., Kallen, R. W., Chemero, A. P. & Richardson, M. J., Jun 2019, In : Cognitive Systems Research. 55, p. 192-204 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Feedback delays can enhance anticipatory synchronization in human-machine interaction

Washburn, A., Kallen, R. W., Lamb, M., Stepp, N., Shockley, K. & Richardson, M. J., 22 Aug 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 8, p. 1-17 17 p., e0221275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
electronic circuits

Human social motor solutions for human-machine interaction in dynamical task contexts

Nalepka, P., Lamb, M., Kallen, R. W., Shockley, K., Chemero, A., Saltzman, E. & Richardson, M. J., 22 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116, 4, p. 1437-1446 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Activities 2010 2017

Embedded multi-agent dynamics

Michael Richardson (Speaker)
24 Nov 2017

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Modeling Embedded Interpersonal and Multiagent Coordination. Presentation

Michael Richardson (Speaker), Rachel W Kallen (Speaker), Patrick Nalepka (Speaker), S Harrison (Speaker), Maurice Lamb (Speaker), Anthony Chemero (Speaker), Elliot Saltzman (Speaker), Richard C Schmidt (Speaker)
22 Apr 2016

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Symmetry-Breaking Dynamics of Multi-Agent Behavioral Coordination

Michael Richardson (Speaker), R. W. Kallen (Speaker)
19 Sep 2016

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Embedded Multi-Agent Dynamics: An Analysis and Modeling Tutorial

Michael Richardson (Speaker), Rachel W Kallen (Speaker), Brian A. Eiler (Speaker)
28 Jan 2016

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Symmetry, magnetic snakes, and sheep herding: Building a double- decker bandwagon

Michael Richardson (Speaker), Rachel W Kallen (Speaker), Auriel Washburn (Speaker), Patrick Nalepka (Speaker)
1 Jul 2015

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk