University of South Florida
College of Arts and Sciences
Contribute to our future
Office: SMC B323
Email: darobertson (at) usf.edu
Dr. David A Robertson is an Instructor I at the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus. Dr. Robertson began his academic career in quantitative fields, earning a BS in Mathematics from University of Oregon and a MS in Statistics from University of Wisconsin – Madison. As an undergraduate, he discovered a love of psychology while working in the psycholinguistics laboratory of Morton Gernsbacher, which inspired him to attend graduate school in psychology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Psychology (Cognitive & Perceptual Sciences) in May, 2000.
Dr. Robertson’s research interests involve language and learning, and involves experiments using behavioral measures such as reading time, memory accuracy, meta-memory accuracy, etc., and also neuroimaging techniques such as functional MRI (FMRI). More specifically, his research has focused on language processing at the text or discourse level, concerning questions about how we understand language. A general premise is that understanding requires not just understanding the words, but understanding the situation conveyed by the words. Dr. Robertson’s work has investigated and supported the theory that when we form an understanding of the situation described in a text, it involves processes and embodied representations that are the same as those used to understand actual physical situations. For example, he conducted several FMRI experiments that showed a common network of brain regions involved in reading or listening to conventional stories. These same regions were also involved in the processing of picture stories presented without any language. Dr Robertson’s reading and teaching interests include a passion for developmental psychology. Outside of school he enjoys the many and wide variety of music and art events in the region, and is the fond owner of two dogs.