Mark Mills

Research Interests: scene perception; eye movements; visual attention; executive control; visual search; object recognition; cognitive and emotional bases of social attitudes and behaviors; quantitative and experimental methods; individual differences.

Teaching Interests: cognitive psychology; sensation and perception; statistics; research methods; political psychology.




Assistant Professor


Cognitive Psychology/Department of Psychology

Educational Background

2018 Postdoc Visual Cognition, University of Toronto

2016 PhD Cognitive Psychology, University of Nebraska

2011 MA Psychology, University of Nebraska

2008 BA Psychology, Oakland University

My career at Alma began in


I'm an expert in

Cognitive Psychology, Statistics, Research Design

Recent publications:

Liu, S., Mills, M., & Pratt, J. (under review). Examining the role of the visual pathways in perception of the Ternus display. Vision Research.

Huffman, G., Hilchey, M. D., Weidler, B. J., Mills, M., & Pratt, J. (2020). Does feature-based attention play a role in the episodic retrieval of event files? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance.

Mills, M., Boychuk, P., Chasteen, A. L., & Pratt, J. (2018). Attention goes both ways: Shifting attention influences lexical decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147, 282-291. doi: 10.1037/xge0000388

Mills, M., Alwatban, M., Hage, B., Barney, E., Truemper, E. J., Bashford, G. R., & Dodd, M. D. (2017). Cerebral hemodynamics during scene viewing: Hemispheric lateralization predicts temporal gaze behavior associated with distinct modes of visual processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 1291-1302. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000357

Recent presentations:

Swaneck, S., & Mills, M. (2021). Tolerance of uncertainty and threat sensitivity in liberals and conservatives. Talk presented at CORE Seminar, Alma, MI.

Kissel, T.-N., & Mills, M. (2020). The influence of angular disparity and impulsivity on attentional control. Poster presented at Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters (MASL), Southfield, MI.

Coston, C., & Mills, M. (2020). The influence of beliefs about gender variance on sex typing. Poster presented at Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters (MASL), Southfield, MI.

Cicotte, R., & Mills, M. (2020). Gaze cueing in canines. Poster presented at Honor’s Day, Alma, MI.

Rosen, M., & Mills, M. (2019). The influence of eye movement scan patterns on scene recognition. Invited talk presented at RAU Summer Camp, Madison, WI.

Creative work:

Current Projects

  • Cognitive processes underlying conservative threat bias: search or updating processes?
  • Effect of viewing task on inhibition of return
  • Auditory conceptual cueing
  • Strategies for specifying crossed random effects models
  • Idiothetic feedback and perception of slope (with Monica Rosen)
  • Change blindness and thinking style (with Nadia Swiecicki)
  • Cognitive restoration and anxiety (with Callie Hale and Julia Ettema)
  • Efficacy of cognitive COVID-19 interventions (with Zach Jandereski)
  • Genetics of COVID-19 anxiety and academic performance (with Abigail Killian)
  • COVID-19 anxiety, mental health, and engagement/retention (with Blake Jonassen)

Other recent accomplishments:


WNEM-TV, CBS Saginaw

The Morning Sun

Traverse City Record-Eagle

Huron Daily Tribune