Erica Wohldmann

Erica Wohldmann
(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 426 Contemporary Trends in Psychology
  • PSY 488CF Cognition and Food
  • SUST 300 Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Sustainability
  • SUST 310 Best Practices in Sustainability

Selected Publications and Presentations

Chen, Y., Pouyat, R. V., Day, S. D., Wohldmann, E. L., Schwarz, K., Rees, G. L., Gonez, M., de Guzman, E. B., & Mao, S. (2020). Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities (.pdf). TreePeople

Wohldmann, E. L., & Naccarato, D. (2020). Chaffee County Waste Audit Report (.pdf). Greater Arkansas River and Nature Association. (Awarded a Silver Medal from EcoCycle (.pdf) Colorado)

Schwarz, K., Wohldmann, E. L., Chen, Y., Pouyat, R. V., Gonzalez, A., Mao, S., Day, S. D., & de Guzman, E. B. (in press). Community Knowledge and Concerns about Urban Soil Science, Practice, and Process: Perspectives from The Healthy Soils for Healthy Communities Initiative in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Wohldmann, E. L., & Healy, A. F. (2020). Learning and transfer of calorie information. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 34, pp. 1485-1494.

Wohldmann, E. L. (2017). An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Rewilding. Invited presentation delivered at TEDxUCLA on May 21, 2016.

Wohldmann, E. L. (2015). Planting a Seed: Applications of Cognitive Principles for Improving Food Choices. The American Journal of Psychology, 128, 209-218.

Wohldmann, E. L. (2013).  Closing the gap between knowing and doing: Applications of learning and transfer to improving food choices. American Journal of Psychology, 126, pp. 449-458.

Wohldmann, E. L., Healy, A. F., & Bourne, L. E., Jr.  (2012).  Specificity and transfer effects in time production skill:  Examining the role of attention.  Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74, 766-778

Healy, A. F., & Wohldmann, E. L.  (2012).  Specificity and transfer of learning.  In B. Ross (Ed).  Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 57, 227-253.

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 attention, learning, memory and decision-making.

Attention and Learning:  Situations that tax our attentional capacity 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), as well as how different environments (e.g., natural versus urban) change our ability to focus and learn. 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. In addition, we’ve shown that being in a natural environment improves attention and learning relative to being in an urban setting. This research helps to inform how learning and memory are altered by conditions of stress, and how to restore attention. 

Cognitive Factors that Influence Food, Health, and Pro-Environmental Decisions: What we choose to eat has huge impacts on social and environmental issues. For example, diet-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are the leading causes of death in the U.S.  Agricultural pesticides are polluting our rivers and streams, drinking water that is necessary for maintaining life.  Similarly, what we choose to purchase—from clothes to cars—has impacts on the environment, social wellbeing, and the economy. I design experiments to examine factors that influence consumption, generally speaking, with the goal of better understanding how to create a more environmentally and socially conscious world. 

Learning versus Doing: What is the role of education in decision making? How knowledgeable do we need to be to make “the right” or “best” or “most rational” choice? This is an area of research that fascinates me. I’ve designed a number of studies to examine how education and expertise impact decisions in a variety of realms, including food choices, environmental responsibility and social justice. 

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, do library research and literature reviews, and to help me analyze data. My research assistants present our findings at professional conferences both on and off campus.