Jeffrey Zacks

Jeffrey Zacks

Associate Chair and Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Professor of Radiology
PhD, Stanford University
MA, Stanford University
BA, Yale University

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1125
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Zacks studies perception and cognition using behavioral experiments, functional MRI, computational modeling, and testing of neurological patients. 

One line of Zacks' research examines how people parse the continuous stream of behavior into meaningful events, and how this affects memory and cognition. Another line examines how mental imagery contributes to reasoning about spatial relations, especially how mental representations of one’s body are updated during imagery and reasoning.

Selected Publications

Richmond, L. L., Sargent, J. Q., Flores, S., & Zacks, J. M. (in press). Age Differences in Spatial Memory for Mediated Environments. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pag0000286

Wahlheim, C. N., & Zacks, J. M. (2018). Memory guides the processing of event changes for older and younger adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Kurby, C. A., & Zacks, J. M. (2018). Preserved neural event segmentation in healthy older adults. Psychology and aging, 33(2), 232.

Richmond, L. L., & Zacks, J. M. (2017). Constructing experience: Event models from perception to action. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(12), 962–980.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2017.08.005

Flores, S., Bailey, H. R., Eisenberg, M. L., & Zacks, J. M. (2017). Event segmentation improves event memory up to one month later. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(8), 1183.

Event Cognition

Event Cognition

Coauthored with Gabriel A. Radvansky

Much of our behavior is guided by our understanding of events. We perceive events when we observe the world unfolding around us, participate in events when we act on the world, simulate events that we hear or read about, and use our knowledge of events to solve problems. In this book, Gabriel A. Radvansky and Jeffrey M. Zacks provide the first integrated framework for event cognition and attempt to synthesize the available psychological and neuroscience data surrounding it. This synthesis leads to new proposals about several traditional areas in psychology and neuroscience including perception, attention, language understanding, memory, and problem solving.

Radvansky and Zacks have written this book with a diverse readership in mind. It is intended for a range of researchers working within cognitive science including psychology, neuroscience, computer science, philosophy, anthropology, and education. Readers curious about events more generally such as those working in literature, film theory, and history will also find it of interest.