Faculty Profile

headshot of Celia M. Klin

Celia M. Klin

Dean of Harpur College

Harpur College of Arts and Sciences; Psychology


Few things are as fascinating, or as important, in people's lives as language. Language plays a central role in almost all aspects of our lives. And psycholinguistics involves the psychological study of language. In Klin's laboratory, they examine the cognitive processes that are involved in using and understanding language. More specifically, they examine the processes involved in understanding written language. Because language almost always involves units of language larger than an individual word or a single sentence, they focus on how people understand connected discourse, such as stories. In this work, they ask questions such as: What is the nature of the "memory representation" that readers create? That is, after reading a story (or an email or an essay) what information does the reader have stored in memory? And what are the cognitive processes involved in comprehension? In addition to contributing toward a theory of discourse, or text, processing, this work contributes to the study of a variety of basic cognitive processes such as memory and attention.

Some recent topics of investigation in Klin's lab: How skilled are readers at keeping track of story characters' perspective? What types of inferences do readers draw? How do readers represent the spatial information in stories? How does a change in context influence readers' memory for a story?

Representative Publications (+graduate student author, *undergraduate student author):

*Cook, A.M., Klin, C.M. & Westerman, D.L. (2023) Surviving with story characters: What do we remember? Memory & Cognition, 51, 1303-1316. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-022-01391-2

*Houghton, K.J., *Poirier, R., & Klin, C.M. (2022). Credible Narrators and Misinformed Readers. Memory & Cognition. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-022-01368-1

*Houghton, K.J., & Klin, C.M. (2020). Do readers remember what story characters remember? Discourse Processes, 57, 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/0163853X.2019.1571782

*Upadhyay, S.S.N., *Houghton, K.J., & Klin, C.M. (2018). Is “few” always less than expected? The influence of story context on readers’ interpretation of natural language quantifiers. Discourse Processes. 56, 708-727, DOI: 10.1080/0163853X.2018.1557006

*Houghton, K.J., *Upadhyay, S.S.N., & Klin, C.M. (2018). Punctuation in text messages may convey abruptness. Period. Computers in Human Behavior, 80, 112‑121.DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.10.044


  • PhD, MS, University of Massachusetts
  • BS, Cornell University

Research Interests

  • Psycholinguistics
  • reading
  • comprehension and memory for text


  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

Research Profile