Bennett Bertenthal

Bennett Bertenthal

James H. Rudy Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences


  • B.A., Psychology, Brandeis University, 1971
  • M.S. Developmental Psychology, University of Denver, 1976
  • PhD. Developmental Psychology, University of Denver, 1978

Research interests

For the past 40 years, my research has focused on the perception and understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of social and non-social actions. Special emphasis is placed on the correspondence between the observation and execution of actions. Much of this research is concerned with identifying the mechanisms necessary for prospective control and how this control develops as the individual gains more experience with selecting and controlling the relevant response. My laboratory is well prepared to address these problems for a number of reasons including: (1) significant research experience studying the development of perception and action coupling (e.g., visual control of posture, reaching, locomotion, etc.), as well as the early representation of objects and their properties; (2) familiarity and experience with a multidisciplinary set of research methods and techniques, such as eye tracking, biomechanics, signal processing, psychophysics, electrophysiology, and chronometric approaches; (3) experience with linear and nonlinear modeling approaches to complex sets of data; and (4) a large network of collaborators who support and complement the primary mission of my laboratory.

Professional Experience

  • 1978 79 Postdoctoral Fellow, Brain Research Institute and Department of Pediatrics, UCLA School of Medicine
  • 1979 85 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
  • 1985-91 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
  • 1988-90 Associate Editor, Developmental Psychology
  • 1989-96 Director, Developmental Training Program, University of Virginia
  • 1991-99 Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
  • 1991-94 Member, APA Committee on Scientific Awards (Chair, 1994)
  • 1991-96 Member, Human Development and Aging Study Section (Chair, 1994-96)
  • 1995-97 Co-Chair, Program Committee, Society for Research in Child Development
  • 1995-98 Member-at-Large, American Psychological Association, Division 7 Executive Committee
  • 1996-99 Assistant Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences, National Science Foundation
  • 1998-00 Member, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Steering Committee on Reinventing the Social Sciences
  • 1998-00 Member, National Science and Technology Committee on the Future of Children
  • 1998-00 Chair, Oakley Caucus (includes the directors and presidents of social science foundations and national research councils from Western Europe, Canada, and Australia)
  • 1999-06 Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago
  • 1999-0 External Judge, Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF), United Kingdom
  • 2000-06 Professor, Committee on Computational Neuroscience, University of Chicago
  • 2000-05 Member, Advisory Board, Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science, Santa Barbara
  • 2000 Chair, External Review Committee for Department of Psychology, University of Maine
  • 2001 Member, External Review Committee for Cognitive Science Institute, UCLA
  • 2001-05 Chair, Social and Behavior Science Institutional Review Board, University of Chicago
  • 2001-05 Member, Advisory Board, Cornell Institute for Research on Children
  • 2003-06 Member, Steering Committee, Network for Building Translational Research in Behavioral Science
  • 2004-07 Senior Fellow, Computation Institute, University of Chicago
  • 2005-06 Member, Universität Bielefeld. ZIF Research Group: Embodied Communication in Humans and Machines
  • 2006-07 Member, TeraGrid Users Advisory Committee, Office of Cyberinfrastructure, NSF
  • 2007-10 Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University
  • 2007- James H. Rudy Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University
  • 2007- Professor, Cognitive Science Program, Indiana University
  • 2007- Professor, Neuroscience Program, Indiana University
  • 2007-10 Member, President’s Cabinet, Indiana University
  • 2007-10 Member, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), Arts & Sciences Deans
  • 2007-10 Member, Association of American Universities (AAU), Arts & Sciences Deans
  • 2008-10 Deputy Director, Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute


  • 1985 Boyd R. McCandless Young Scientist Award
  • 1985-90 NIH Research Career Development Award
  • 1990 Cattell Sabbatical Award
  • 1990 Fellow, Division 7, American Psychological Association (APA)
  • 1991 Fellow, American Psychological Society (APS)
  • 1997- Biography appears in Who’s Who in America
  • 2001 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • 2002 Fellow, Division 1, American Psychological Association (APA)
  • 2004 Max Planck Gesellschaft Scholarship, Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich Germany.

Representative publications

Origins and early development of perception, action, and representation (1996)
Bennett I Bertenthal
Annual Reviews. 47 (1), 431-459

An epigenetic perspective on the development of self-produced locomotion and its consequences (1994)
Bennett I Bertenthal, Joseph J Campos and Rosanne Kermoian
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 3 (5), 140-145

Eye, head and trunk control: The foundation for manual development (1998)
Bennett Bertenthal and Claes Von Hofsten
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 22 (4), 515-520

Perception and action (1998)
Bennett I Bertenthal and Rachel K Clifton
John Wiley & Sons Inc. 51-102

Does perception of biological motion rely on specific brain regions? (2001)
Julie Grezes, Pierre Fonlupt, Bennett Bertenthal, Chantal Delon-Martin, Christoph Segebarth and Jean Decety
Neuroimage, 13 (5), 775-785

Haste does not always make waste: Expertise, direction of attention, and speed versus accuracy in performing sensorimotor skills (2004)
Sian L Beilock, Bennett I Bertenthal, Annette M McCoy and Thomas H Carr
Psychonomic bulletin & review, 11 (2), 373-379

Imitative response tendencies following observation of intransitive actions (2006)
Bennett I Bertenthal, Matthew R Longo and Adam Kosobud
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 32 (2), 210

Common coding of observation and execution of action in 9-month-old infants (2006)
Matthew R Longo and Bennett I Bertenthal
Infancy, 10 (1), 43-59

Phenomenal Permanence and the Development of Predictive Tracking (2007)
Bennett I. Bertenthal, Matthew R. Longo and Sarah Kenny
Child Development, 78 (1), 350-363

Automatic imitation of biomechanically possible and impossible actions: Effects of priming movements versus goals (2008)
Matthew R Longo, Adam Kosobud and Bennett I Bertenthal
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34 (2), 489

Motor Knowledge and Action Understanding: A Developmental Perspective (2008)
Bennett I. Bertenthal and Matthew R. Longo
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 323-368

Perception and Action (2010)
Bennett I. Bertenthal
Academic Press. 369-381

Infants' Understanding of Actions Performed by Mechanical Devices (2011)
Ty W. Boyer, Jing Samantha Pan and Bennett I. Bertenthal
Cognition, 121 (1), 1-11

Is automatic imitation a specialized form of stimulus–response compatibility? Dissociating imitative and spatial compatibilities (2012)
Ty W Boyer, Matthew R Longo and Bennett I Bertenthal
Acta Psychologica, 139 (3), 440-448

Brief Familiarization Primes Covert Imitation in 9-Month-Old Infants (2011)
Bennett I. Bertenthal and Ty W. Boyer
Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. ). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society, 1436-1441

Dissertation Committee Service

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Harris, Jack Automated Cognitive Model Evaluation: Methodologies And Uses (December 2011) Schuetz, M. (Chair), Bertenthal, B., Busemeyer, J., Leake, D.