Katherine M. Mathis

Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology



Pettengill Hall, Room 355



Prof. Mathis has conducted research in a number of areas of cognitive psychology, including the conceptual and lexical mental representations of novice and expert bilinguals, the effects of a visual scene context on the recognition of individual objects, the visual perception of objects under masked conditions, automaticity of orthographic and phonological processing used during reading, and how magazine advertisements implicitly increase positive attitudes towards the products depicted.

Summary of Interests

  • Object perception
  • Object and scene recognition
  • Bilingual memory representation
  • Effects of implicit processing on preferences
  • Automaticity of lexical and semantic processing


  • B.A. Psychology, Siena College, 1992
  • M.A. Cognitive Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1995
  • Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1998

Courses Taught

  • PSYC 101 Principles of Psychology
  • PSYC 222 Applied Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 230 Cognitive Psychology
  • PSYC 261 Research Methods
  • PSYC 374 Psychology of Language
  • FYS 389 Psychology and Film

Selected Publications

* indicates Bates student

Mathis, K. M., & Kahan, T. A. (2014). Holistic processing improves change detection but impairs change identification. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 21, 1250-1254.

Kahan, T. A., *Hengen, K. B., & Mathis, K. M. (2011). An examination of orthographic and phonological processing using the task-choice procedure. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26, 171-190.

Kahan, T. A., & Mathis, K. M. (2007). Searching under cups for clues about memory: A classroom demonstration. Teaching of Psychology, 34, 124-128.

Kahan, T. A., & Mathis, K. M. (2002).  Gestalt grouping and common onset masking. Perception and Psychophysics, 64, 1248-1259.

Mathis, K. M.  (2002). Semantic interference from objects both in and out of a scene context.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28, 171–182.

Neill, W. T., & Mathis, K. M.  (1998).  Transfer-inappropriate processing:  Negative priming and related phenomena. In D. L. Medin (Ed.)Psychology of Learning and Motivation Vol. 38, pp. 1-40.  San Diego: Academic Press.

Altarriba, J., & Mathis, K. M. (1997).  Conceptual and lexical development in second language acquisition.  Journal of Memory and Language, 36, 550-568.