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Erica Wohldmann

Erica Wohldmann
Associate Professor
(818) 677-6676
Office location:
ST 320



  • (2006) Joint Ph.D. in Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • (2004) M.A. Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Specialty Areas: Cognitive Psychology

Courses Taught

  • PSY 150 Principles of Human Behavior
  • PSY 369 Applied Cognitive Psychology
  • PSY 403/403L Cognition and Perception
  • PSY 488CF Cognition and Food
  • SUST 300 Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Sustainability
  • SUST 310 Best Practices in Sustainability

Selected Publications and Presentations

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (in press). Specificity and transfer effects in time production skill: Examining the role of attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics.

Healy, A. F., & Wohldmann, E. L. (in press). Specificity and transfer of learning. In B. Ross (Ed). Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 57.

Wohldmann, E. L. Reducing food deserts and promoting healthy eating through urban gardening. Invited talk delivered to the City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Green Practices and Projects Workshop on October 22, 2011.

Wohldmann, E. L. Redefining healthy in Los Angeles. Invited talk delivered to the City of Los Angeles Congress of Neighborhoods Annual Meeting on September 24, 2011.

Wohldmann, E. L. Examining the relationship between knowing and doing: Nutrition training for improving food choices. Invited talk delivered at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association on August 5, 2011.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., Kole, J. A., Schneider, V. I., Shea, K. M., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (in press). Training for efficient, durable, and flexible performance in the military. In W. Arthur, Jr., E. A. Day, W. Bennett, Jr., & A. Portrey (Eds.), Individual and team skill decay: State of the science and implications for practice. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2011). How does practice with a reversed mouse influence subsequent speeded aiming performance? A test of global inhibition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23, 559-573.

Kurland, N. B., Michaud, K., Best, M., Wohldmann, E. L., Cox, H.M., Pontikis, K., & Vasishth, A. (2010). Overcoming silos: The role of an interdisciplinary course in shaping a sustainability network. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9(3).

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2010). Task integration in time production. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72, 1130-1143.

Wohldmann, E. L., & Healy, A. F. (2010). Exploring Specificity of Speeded Aiming Movements: Examining Different Measures of Transfer, Memory & Cognition, 38, 344-355.

Wohldmann, E. L., & Quilici, J. L.  The influence of point-of-purchase on meal selections. Poster presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Boston, MA, November 20, 2009.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr.  (2008).  A mental practice superiority effect: Less forgetting and more transfer than physical practice, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 24, 823-833 (lead article).

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L., E., Jr.  (2008).  Training specificity and global inhibition in speeded aiming movements.  Memory & Cognition, 36, 1228-1235.

Carmien, S. & Wohldmann, E. L. (2008). Mapping images to objects by young adults with cognitive disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 29, 149-157.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. Physical but not mental practice yields retroactive interference. Paper to be presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Long Beach, CA, November 17, 2007.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E. Jr. (2007). Pushing the limits of imagination: Motor imagery for learning sequences and skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 254-261.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., Sutton, E. M., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2006). Specificity effects in training and transfer of speeded responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 32, 534-546.

Wohldmann, E., L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. Mental practice leads to less forgetting and interference than physical practice. Paper presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Houston, TX, November 18, 2006.

Healy, A. F., Kole, J. A., Wohldmann, E. L., Buck-Gengler, C. J., Parker, J. T., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2005). Optimizing the speed, durability, and transferability of training. In C. Izawa and N. Ohta (Eds.), Human learning and memory: Advances in theory and application (pp. 135-153). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Healy, A. F., Wohldmann, E. L., Parker, J. T., & Bourne, L. E., Jr. (2005). Skill training, retention, and transfer: The effects of a concurrent secondary task. Memory & Cognition, 33, 1457-1471.

Research Interests

My research is concerned with factors that influence learning and memory for knowledge and skills, as well as decision-making.


Cognitive Factors that Influence Decision-Making about Nutrition and the Environment:  Obesity is a serious and growing public health problem that is associated with numerous negative effects on health, such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, increased mortality, and osteoarthritis among others.  It is assumed that having access to educational information will encourage individuals to make healthy decisions about food and exercise.  I design experiments to examine how and why people make the choices that they make with regard to nutrition. The goal of this research is to understand factors that influence decision-making, as well as to examine ways of presenting information that will enable people make healthy choices.

Divided Attention and Learning:  Situations that require divided attention can impact learning, memory, and performance of tasks in a variety of ways. My research in this area examines how cognition changes as a function of secondary task demands (divided attention). In the past, we have found learning to be highly specific to the task requirements, and future research will explore conditions under which learning is more flexible.  Because divided attention can be thought of as a stressor, this research helps to inform how learning and memory are altered by conditions of stress.

Motor Imagery: Motor imagery is defined as the simulation of movements in the absence of any overt physical action.  I conduct laboratory research on people’s ability to use motor imagery to learn new motor skills and for maintaining motor skills over long delays. This research has important theoretical implications for understanding motor control and motor programming. In addition, it has numerous practical applications to stroke rehabilitation, recovery from injury, as well as skill learning and training.

Stimulus-Response Incompatibility: These experiments are designed to examine how people learn to perform tasks that require unusual patterns of hand-eye coordination. If you try to turn your computer mouse sideways, you’ll find that it is quite difficult to navigate on your computer. However, with practice, you’ll notice that your performance improves over time. By understanding the cognitive processes required to learn this type of simple task, we can understand how knowledge is represented in the mind, learn about generalization of knowledge, and better train people to perform well under similar circumstances.

Research assistants who work in my lab will gain valuable experience conducting psychological research, which will make them highly competitive applicants for graduate programs. They are trained to help me collect data by testing human subjects, to do library research, and to help me analyze data