assistant professor of psychology, studies readers' eye movement.
Psychology Department Welcomes New Assistant Professor
|Barbara Juhasz has
joined the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor.
Juhasz studies the psychology of reading. Her main task in investigating
word recognition is to measure readers' eye movements as they read sentences
on a computer screen. The duration of readers' eye fixations on words
provides detailed information on how easy or difficult words are to
understand, she explains.
While her research is usually conducted on literate adults, it has
applications to the teaching of reading and the understanding of reading
“In my opinion, recognizing and understanding words is a very important part
of the reading process,” Juhasz says. “I am particularly interested in how
readers' mental dictionaries are organized.”
Juhasz comes to Wesleyan from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst,
where she worked as the university's Eye-Tracking Laboratory manager while
completing her Ph.D. She received a bachelor's of art in psychology from
Binghamton University; a master's of science in cognitive psychology from
UMass, Amherst; and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from UMass, Amherst in
She has been the recipient of several grants and fellowships including a
pre-doctoral traineeship from the National Institute of Mental Health; a
Study Visit Grant from the Experimental Psychology Society; a Psychology
Departmental Travel Grant from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and
a Dean of Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Support
At Binghamton, Juhasz was an undergraduate research assistant for Professor
Albrecht Inhoff in the university's Eye-Tracking Laboratory. She also worked
as a teaching assistant for a course titled Research Methods and an
instructor for two psychology courses and accompanying labs.
At UMass, Amherst, she worked as a graduate research assistant for Professor
Keith Rayner at the Eye-Tracking Laboratory. In addition, she supervised
four undergraduates in the lab, and oversaw two senior honor's thesis
students. She also worked as a teaching assistant for the course,
Undergraduate Psychological Statistics.
“It was these early research experiences that inspired me to become an
assistant professor and study reading,” she says. “I am very excited to
involve undergraduates in my research.”
At Wesleyan, Juhasz plans to establish an internationally-known eye movement
and reading lab.
“Wesleyan has a great reputation for both teaching and research. It is rare
to find a university that excels in both of these areas,” she says.
Juhasz is the author or co-author of more than a dozen articles including
“Immediate disambiguation of lexically ambiguous words during reading:
Evidence from eye movements,” and “Orthographic uniqueness point and eye
movements in reading,” published in the British Journal of Psychology;
“Age-of-acquisition effects in word and picture processing,” published in
Psychological Bulletin; and “Binocular coordination of the eyes during
reading: Word frequency and case alternation affect fixation duration but
not binocular disparity,” published in the Quarterly Journal of
In addition, she holds professional memberships with the American
Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society.
Juhasz will teach Sensation and Perception in the fall, and in the spring,
Statistics: An Activity-Based Approach and Psychology of Reading.
Juhasz says her family is especially proud that she has become an assistant
professor at Wesleyan. Her grandfather, Wesley Sanders, attended Wesleyan,
and her uncle, Peter Sanders, graduated from Wesleyan in ‘56.
She lives in East Hampton, Conn. with her husband, Matthew Vitiello, and
their dog, Sid.
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection