Tel Aviv 69978, Israel
Tel: 972-3-6408727
Fax: +972-3-6409547
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Short Biography

Professor Marius Usher has received his PhD in Physics at Tel-Aviv University with a dissertation on neural-network modeling. Following this he pursued postdoctoral training in visual psychophysics (Weizmann Institute), in computational-neuroscience (Caltech) and cognitive psychology (Carnegie Mellon University). In 1995 he started to lecture in Psychology in England (University of Kent and Birkbeck College, London). From 2004 he was a Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London. In 2008 he returned and started to teach at Tel-Aviv University .

Fields of Interest

Choice and decision-making; visual attention and perceptual grouping; memory and contextual processing; the effect of emotion on attention and on decision-making; intuition and insight processes; cognitive deficits in Schizophrenia; Philosophy of mind.


Combined studies using behavioral experiments and computational modeling. Conceptual analyses

New publications

Kalanthroff E, Avnit A & Henik A, Davelaar EJ & Usher M. (2014). Stroop proactive control and task conflict are modulated
by concurrent working memory load. Psychon Bull Rev (PDF: PBR2014).

Moran R, Teodorescu AR & Usher M. (2015). Post choice information integration as a causal determinant of confidence: Novel data and a computational account. Cognitive Psychology 78 (2015) 99–147. (PDF: Conf-Rani.pdf)

Teodorescu A. R. & Usher M. (2013). Disentangling decision models – from independence to competition. Psychological Review, in press 

Eyal Kalanthroff E., Goldfarb L, Usher M, & Henik A. (2013). Stop interfering: Stroop task conflict independence from informational conflict and interference. THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY

Rusou Z, Zakay D. & Usher M. (2013). Pitting intuitive and analytical thinking against each other: The case of transitivity. Psychon Bull Rev

Ossmy O*, Moran O*, Pfeffer T, Tsetsos K, Usher M* & Donner TH*. 2013. The Timescale of Perceptual Evidence Integration Can Be Adapted to the EnvironmentCurrent Biology.

Moran R.,Zehetleitner M, M¨uller H & Usher M. (2013). Competitive guided search:Meeting the challenge of benchmark RT distributions. Journal of Vision (2013) 13(8):, 1–31. 

Bronfman Z, Brezis N, Jacobson H & Usher M(2014). We See More Than We Can Report: ''Cost Free'' Color Phenomenality Outside Focal Attention, Psychological Science, 9 May 2014

Shahar, N., Teodorescu, A. R., Usher, M., Pereg, M., & Meiran, N. (2014, July 7).  Selective Influence of Working Memory Load on Exceptionally Slow Reaction Times. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Elhalal A, Davelaar EJ & Usher M (2014). The role of the PFC in memory:  An investigation of the Von Restorff effect, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol 8

Selected Publications by topic


Usher M, Russo Z, Wyers M, Brauner R & Zakay D (2011). The impact of the mode of thought on complex decisionsFrontiers in Cognitive Science.

Tsetsos, K., Usher, M. & McClelland, J. L (2011). Testing multi-alternative choice models with non-stationary evidenceFrontiers in Decision Neuroscience.

Tsetsos, K., Chater N. & Usher, M. (2010). Preference reversal in multi-attribute choice. Psychological Review, 117 (4), 1275-1291.

Bogacz, R., Usher, M., Zhang, J. and McClelland, J.L (2007). Extending a biologically inspired model of choice: multialternatives, nonlinearity and value-based multidimensional choice. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B.

Usher, M. and McClelland, J. L. (2004). Loss aversion and inhibition in dynamical models of multialternative choice (proofs version). Psychological Review, 111 (3), 757-769

Usher, M., Olami, Z. and McClelland, J.L. (2002). Hick's law in a stochastic race model with speed-accuracy tradeoff

Usher, M. and McClelland, J.L. (2001). On the Time Course of Perceptual choice: The leaky competing accumulator model. PsychologicalReview, 108, 550-592 .

Tsetsos K, Gao J, McClelland JL & Usher M (2012). Using time-varying evidence to probe decision dynamicsFrontiers in Decision. Neuroscience. Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience, 6 00079

Tsetsos K, Chater N & Usher M. (2012). Salience driven value integration explains decision biases and preference reversal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109, 24, 9659-9664.

Attention, grouping and neural synchrony 

Cheadle S, Parton A, Mueller H & Usher M (2010). Subliminal gamma flicker draws attention even in the absence of transition-flash cues. Journal of Neurophysiology.

Cheadle, S., Usher, M. & Muller H. (2010). Rapid visual grouping and figure ground processing using temporally structured displays.Vision Research, 50, 1803-1813.

Bauer F, Cheadle S, Parton A, Mueller H & Usher M (2009). 50Hz flicker triggers attentional selection without awarenessPNAS.

Cheadle S, Bauer F., Parton A, Bonneh Y, Mueller H & Usher M (2008). Spatial structure affects temporal judgments: Evidence for a synchrony binding codeJournal of Vision.

Usher, M. (2006). What has been learned from computational models of attention? Neural Networks (Special Issue).

Usher, M. and Davelaar, E.J. (2002). Neuromodulation of decision and response selection Neural Networks, 15, 635-645.

Usher, M., Cohen, J., Servan-Schreiber, D., Rajkowsky, J. and Aston-Jones, G. (1999) The role of Locus Coereleus in the regulation of cognitive performance. Science, 283, 589-554.

Usher, M. and Donnelly, N. (1998). Visual synchrony affects binding and segmentation processes in perception,  Nature.

Usher, M. and  Niebur, E. (1996). Modelling the temporal dynamics of IT neurons in visual search: a mechanism for top-down selectiveattention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 8(3), 305-321.

Stemmler M,Usher M & Niebur E. (1995). Lateral Interactions in Primary Visual Cortex: A Model Bridging Physiology and Psychophysics. Science, 269, 1877-1879. (PDF: stemmler95.pdf).


Usher, M., Davelaar, E. J., Haarmann, H. J., & Goshen-Gottstein, Y. (2008). Short-term memory after all: comment on Sederberg,Howard and Kahana (2008). Psychological Review, 115, 1108-1118.

Davelaar EJ, Haarmann HJ, Goshen-Gottstein Y and Usher M (2006). Semantic similarity dissociates short from long-term recency effects: Testing a neurocomputational model of list memory Memory & Cognition, 34, 323-334.

Davelaar, E. J., Goshen-Gottstein, Y., Ashkenazi, A., Haarmann, H. J. and Usher, M. (2005). The demise of short term memory revisited: empirical and computational investigations of recency effects. Psychological Review, 112, 3-42.

Haarmann, H. J., Ashling, G. E., Davelaar, E. J. and Usher, M. (2005). Age-related Declines in Context Maintenance and Semantic Short-term Memory. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, A.

Vernon, D. and Usher, M. (2003). The dynamics of metacognitive judgements: pre- and post-retrieval mechanisms.  Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning Memory and Cognition, 29, 339-346.

Haarmann, H. J., Davelaar E. J. and Usher M. (2003). Individual differences in semantic short-term memory capacity and readingcomprehension Journal of Memory and Language, 48, 320-345.

Haarmann, H. and Usher, M. (2001). Maintenance of semantic information in capacity limited item short-term memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 8, 568-578 .

Usher, M. and Cohen, J.D. (1999). Short Term Memory and Selection Processes in a Frontal-Lobe Model.  In Connectionist Models in Cognitive Neuroscience, London: Springer-Verlag, pp. 78-91

Philosophy of Mind

Control, choice and the convergence / divergence dynamics: a compatibilistic probabilistic theory of free will. Journal of Philosophy

Usher, M. (2004). Comment on Ryder's SINBAD Neurosemantics: Is Teleofunction Isomorphism the Way to Understand RepresentationsMind and Language, 19, 241-248.

Usher, M. (2001). A Statistical Referential Theory of Content: Using Information Theory to account for Misrepresentation Mind and Language, 16, 311-334.