Peter Wessels

Peter WesselsSenior Lecturer

Contact Information:
Phone: (513) 529-2408
215 Psychology Building
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Teaching Interests:

I regularly teach a version of Introduction of Psychology (PSY 111) that has been redesigned to promote the use of evidence-based reasoning to help students think more like modern psychologists and other scientists. In addition to exams and homework assignments, the redesigned course includes multiple writing assignments based on the reading of original sources and weekly discussion sections managed by Undergraduate Discussion Leaders.

In support of the redesigned version of Introduction to Psychology, I frequently teach a Practicum in Leadership and Pedagogy (PSY 212, 313) that assists Undergraduate Discussion Leaders as they lead their first semester of discussion sections, and provides continued support to more experienced leaders.

I also regularly teach an Honors section of Introduction to Psychology, and occasionally teach courses in the undergraduate Brain and Cognitive Science curriculum (e.g., PSY 231, PSY 372, PSY 470).

Research Interests:

My research interests lie primarily in the areas of Memory and Consciousness. I’m particularly interested in the cognitive mechanisms that support distinctions between memories that occur with or without recollected details (i.e., episodic information). I have explored this issue in a variety of contexts (veridical and false memories for semantically-related words, memory for same-race and other-race faces, the formation and retention of conceptual knowledge in biological categories, and semantic fluency for adult language acquisition) and using a variety of tools and procedures (Event-related Potentials, repetition and frequency estimation, priming, naming tasks). Most of my research is done with undergraduate research assistants and in collaboration with other faculty and graduate students.

Professional Recognition:

  • Miami University Undergraduate Summer Scholars Mentorship Award: Frequency Estimates of Other-race and Same-race Faces, Advisee: Meghan Royer. 2010.
  • National Science Foundation: MRI-R2: Acquisition of Dense Array EEG for Research and Training across the Disciplines. R. Thomas (PI); K. Hugenberg, D. Bergen, E. Schussler, & Q. Zhou (Co-PIs); E. Accortt, M. Cronley, H. Thurmer, & P. Wessels (Senior Personnel). 2010-2012.
  • Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching, and University Assessment. Faculty Development Associate for Top 25 Initiative. 2009-2010.
  • Ohio Board of Regents: Research Incentive Fund: Psychophysiology: A Window to the Mind. R. Thomas (PI); D. Bergen, M. Cronley, K. Hugenberg, K. Hutchinson, J. Kiper, E. Schussler, P. Wessels, & Q. Zhou. 2008-2009.
  • Miami University Top 25 Inititiative: Using Psychology to Promote Student Learning in Introductory Psychology. L. Mark (PI), A. Diekman, P. Ellerson, J. Johnson, P. Wessels, & E. Uhler. 2007-2009.

Representative Publications:

Fabiani, M., Stadler, M. A., & Wessels, P. M. (2000). True but not false memories produce a sensory signature in human lateralized brain potentials. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 12, 941-949.