About Me

I am a Ph.D candidate at University of California, Merced in the Cognitive and Information Sciences department.

Advisor: Ramesh Balasubramaniam

I am interested in understanding how the motor system of the brain and body, which controls our actions, contribute to non-motor tasks. These include visual and auditory perceptual tasks, as well as higher cognitive functions, with an emphasis on word learning. My research tools of choice are gamified virtual reality experiments and transcranial magnetic stimulaion.

More recently, I have been extending knowledge of how movement influences cognition, social affiliation, and emotion, to research how movement can be used to positively impact social connectedness and increase empathy among humans.

I am also interested in the embodied nature of language and understanding how language learning relies on the sensorimotor system, and in how the sensorimotor nature of concrete concepts eventually give rise to abstract language and concepts. Furthermore, I would like to understand how these embodied concepts are accessed in conversation.


Gordon, C. L., Shea, T. M., Noelle, D., Balasubramaniam, R. (in review). Affordance compatibility effect for word learning in virtual reality.

Gordon, C. L.*, Hazam, P.*, Balasubramaniam, R. (in review). The functional contribution of the motor system to passive music perception: An ALE meta-analysis.

Gordon, C. L., Iacoboni, M., Balasubramaniam, R. (2018). Multimodal music perception engages motor prediction: a TMS study. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12, 736.

Holbrook, C., Gordon, C. L., Iacoboni, M. (2018). Continuous theta burst stimulation of posterior medial frontal cortex to experimentally reduce ideological threat responses. J. Vis. Exp. (139), e58204, doi:10.3791/58204

Gordon, C.L., Spivey, M.J., Balasubramaniam, R. (2017). Corticospinal excitability during the processing of handwritten and typed words. Neuroscience Letters, 651, 232-236

Gordon, C.L., Balasubramaniam, R. (2017). Recruitment of the motor system in the perception of handwritten and typed characters. Proceedings of the 42th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. London, U.K.

Bunce, J.P., Abney, D.H., Gordon, C.L., Spivey, M.J., Scott, R.M. (2016). Using Motor Dynamics to Explore Real-time Competition in Cross-situational Word Learning: Evidence From Two Novel Paradigms. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Philadelphia, PA.

Bunce, J., Gordon, C., Abney, D., Fleming, M., Greenwood, M., Chiu, E., Spivey, M., Scott, R. (2015). Mouse tracking reveals knowledge of multiple competing referents during cross-situational word learning. Proceedings of the 40thAnnual Boston University Conference on Language Development. Boston, MA.

Gordon, C., Anderson, S., & Spivey, M. (2014). Font can change how we think about what we think. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Quebec City, Canada

Sarinopoulos, I., Hesson, A. M., Gordon, C., Lee, S. A., Wang, L., Dwamena, F., & Smith, R. C. (2013). Patient-centered interviewing is associated with decreased responses to painful stimuli: An Initial fMRI study.” Patient education and counseling, 90(2), 220-225