Michael Richardson


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Personal profile


I am a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. My research is directed towards understanding the lawful dynamics of human perception, action, and cognition and developing human-AI systems. I have expertise in experimental and applied psychology, cognitive science, human-movement science, perception-action, joint-action and social coordination, AI, human-machine interaction, machine learning, 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.

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, AI and robotic systems, I 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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