Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology

Lawrence Behmer

Title: Instructor of Psychology 
Office: Coffey 240
Phone: 773.508.3280

Background Information
BA: University of Portland
MS: Western Washington University
PhD: Washington State University
Post-doc: Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
Classes Taught
PSYC 250 Cognitive Psychology
PSYC 304 Statistics
PSYC 306 Research Methods in Psychology
Psychology has evolved to a point where the field is perched upon a nexus of several different disciplines such as chemistry, physics, biology, and computer science. During my academic career I have been immersed in this evolution and have contributed to it, both in the research literature and the classroom. In my courses, I try to draw from this academic diversity to position students to be prepared for a workplace that requires an ever-increasing array of skills. In the classroom, it is my objective to teach you not just about where the field has been, but for us to explore where the field is going.
Research Interests
I use EEG and TMS, as well as big data collection tools such as Amazon Mechanical Turk and computational modeling to investigate important questions about how learning, memory, and cognitive control intersect with our ability to plan and execute complex motor behaviors. Specifically, I am interested in the serial order problem (how we successfully plan and execute actions in the correct order), the underlying cognitive processes which allow us to understand another person’s actions (associative sequence learning, mirror neurons), motor imagery, and the role of the anterior cingulate and frontal cortex during skilled action sequencing. Ultimately, my goal is to learn more about the mechanical and cognitive processes involved in motor performance in order to improve machine learning algorithms that can be used to detect specific profiles of EEG activity and improve the performance of brain machine interfaces for people with mobility disabilities. Students who work in my lab can expect to develop coding and data collection/analysis skills that can be useful for careers in academia or the private and public sector. My research program is interdisciplinary, intersecting with computer science, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience, with distinct clinical and commercial applications. One of my recent publications was highlighted by the APA as an “Exciting Experiment in Psychology.” http://www.apa.org/pubs/highlights/peeps/issue-100.aspx
Selected Publications
Behmer Jr., L. P., Jantzen, K. J., Martinez, S., Walls, R., Amir-Brownstein, A., Jaye, A., Leytze, M., Lucier, K., & Crump, M. J. C. (2018). Parallel regulation of past, present, and future actions during sequencing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. 44(8), 1147-1152.
Behmer Jr., L. P., & Crump, M. J. C. (2017). Spatial knowledge during skilled action sequencing: Hierarchical versus nonhierarchical representations. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. 79(8), 1435-2248.
Behmer Jr., L. P., & Crump, M. J. C. (2017). The dynamic range of response set activation during action sequencing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. 43(3), 537-554.
Behmer Jr., L. P., & Crump, M. J. C. (2016). Crunching big data with finger tips: How typists tune their performance towards the statistics of natural language. In M. N. Jones (Ed.), Big Data in Cognitive Science, Abindgon, UK: Talyor & Francis.
Behmer Jr., L. P., & Fournier, L. R. (2016). Mirror neuron activation as a function of explicit learning: Changes in mu-event related power after learning novel responses to ideomotor compatible, partially compatible, and non-compatible stimuli. European Journal of Neuroscience. 44(10), 2774-2785.
Eaves, D. L., Behmer Jr., L. P., & Vogt, S. (2016). Motor imagery content modulates mu and beta ERD during action observation: An EEG and behavioural study. Brain and Cognition, 106; 90-103.
Behmer Jr., L. P., & Fournier, L. R. (2014). Working memory modulates neural efficiency over motor components during a novel action planning task: An EEG study. Behavioural Brain Research, 260, 1-7.
Fournier, L. R., Behmer Jr., L. P., & Stubblefield, A. (2014). Interference due to shared features between action plans is influenced by working memory span. Psyonomic Bulletin and Review, 21(6), 1524-1529.
Mattson, P. S., Fournier, L. R., & Behmer Jr., L. P. (2012). Frequency of a feature occurring early in the action sequence influences binding among action feature codes.  Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74(7), 1446-1460.
Jantzen, K. J., Seifert, M., Richardson, B., Behmer Jr., L. P., Odell, C., Tripp, A., & Symons, A. (2012). Dorsal stream activity and connectivity associated with action priming of ambiguous apparent motion.  Neuroimage, 63(2), 687-697.
Behmer Jr., L. P., & Jantzen, K. J. (2011). Reading sheet music activates the mirror neuron system of musicians: An EEG study. Clinical Neurophysiology, 122(7), 1342-1347.