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1985 …2022

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Personal profile


I'm currently an Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology and an Affiliate of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD) (and one of the founding members of its precursor, the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science/MACCS) at Macquarie University.  My research uses experimental methods to study the workings of the mind, particularly the automatic processes that are hard to introspect on, such as visual word recognition and letter processing.  I have published more than 60 articles on these topics in international journals, including Psychological Review, Journal of Experimental Psychology (General; Learning, Memory and Cognition; Human Perception and Performance), and Journal of Memory and Language.   I have served as an associate editor, and currently serve on the editorial boards of these journals.

Research interests

I have always been interested in the workings of the mind, and since being introduced to the experimental psychological approaches, I have used these methods to study the hard-to-introspect processes like recognition of words and letters, across different languages and writing systems (e.g., Japanese kanji and kana).  With my collaborator Dennis Norris at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge, we have developed the Bayesian Reader account of masked priming - how words presented so briefly that the reader is not consciously aware of its identity impact on the processing of subsequently presented words.  The Bayesian Reader explains nicely, for example, why readers are tolerant of distortions of letter order - the so-called "Cmabridge" email phenomenon (Norris & Kinoshita, Psychological Review, 2012; Kinoshita & Norris, 2009, JEP:LMC), and why the phenomenon is not observed in some writing systems (like Hebrew).  The Bayesian Reader approach also explains why masked priming effects are task-dependent, contrrary to the widely held view that "activation" of semantics is automatic .  This was one of the issues investigated in Bianca De Wit's PhD thesis (De Wit & Kinoshita, 2015, JEP:LMC)


I currently teach cognitive psychology at all (first, second, and third year) undergraduate levels, and have also taught research methods and statsitics.  I have supervised numerous Honours projects on various topics in cognitive psychology - e.g., adult developmental dyslexia, recognition of Japanese kana in adult beginning learners of Japanese, the involvement of phonology in reading, whether the "LEET" (reading of visual symbols as letters, e.g., M4T3R14L) phenomenon reflects a "top-down" influence of word knowledge.  All of these honours theses have subsequently been published in international journals (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology; Memory & Cognition; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition). 

Research student supervision

I have supervised PhD topics mainly on reading and visual word recognition - e.g., the role of semantics in reading aloud; the role of speech production in reading aloud; attentional control of semantic priming (challenging the widely held idea that semantic priming is "automatic").  I am currently supervising a PhD on the topic of cognitive control, using both behavioural experimental method (including the analysis of RT distribution) and electrophysiological measure (ERP).  I would be interested in supervising PhD projects on cognitive psychology that are based on sound theoretical frameworks.

Community engagement

  • Associate editor, Psychological Science (2020-current)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition (2005-2006; 2012-2018)
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition (2006-2011; 2018-current)
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance (2011-current)
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General (2005-2006)
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Memory and Language (2009-current)
  • Associate editor, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2005-2011)


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