Martha Alibali

Credentials: (she/her)

Position title: Professor and Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Phone: (608) 262-0837

520 Psychology

Research Area(s)
Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Lab Website
Cognitive Development & Communication Lab

Research Interests
I conduct research at the interface of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and mathematics education. My primary line of research investigates mathematics learning and development, with a special focus on the role of gesture in mathematical thinking and knowledge change. I am also interested in the role of gesture in thinking and communication, particularly in educational settings.

Representative Publications
Alibali, M. W. & Nathan, M. J. (2012). Embodiment in mathematics teaching and learning: Evidence from students’ and teachers’ gestures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 21, 247-286

Young, A. G., Alibali, M. W. & Kalish, C. W. (2012). Disagreement and causal learning: Others’ hypotheses affect children’s evaluations of evidence. Developmental Psychology, 48, 1242-1253.

Alibali, M. W., Spencer, R. C., Knox, L., & Kita, S. (2011). Spontaneous gestures influence strategy choices in problem solving. Psychological Science, 22, 1138–1144.

Prather, R. W. & Alibali, M. W. (2009). Development of arithmetic principle knowledge: How do we know what learners know? Developmental Review, 29, 221-248.

Hostetter, A. B. & Alibali, M. W. (2008). Visible embodiment: Gestures as simulated action. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 15, 495-514.