Mari Jones
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portraitProfessor of Psychology

Mari Riess Jones is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology. Her research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. She has been actively interested in problems of timing and rhythm in attention and memory for over twenty years. 

Mailing Address:

Psychology Department
224 Lazenby Hall
1827 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus, Oh 43210 USA

Email address:




B.A. University of California, Riverside, 1959, Psychology
M.A. Boston University, 1960, Psychology
Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, 1967 Experimental Psychology


B.A. - Magna Cum Laude
Woodrow Wilson Fellowship (1959-1960)
M.A. - High Honors
Ph. D. - NIMH Training Fellowship


Technical Assistant in Research in Human Factors, Mitre Corp., Bedford, MA, 1960-1963.

Graduate Research Assistant, University of Massachusetts, 1963-1966, (NIMH grant research, 1965-1966; J.L. Myers, Sponsor).

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1968-1971.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1969-1971.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1971-1976.

Professor, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, 1976-present.


cat decorationAmerican Psychological Society: Fellow

American Psychological Association: Fellow

Psychonomic Society

International Society for Ecological Psychology: Member of Board of Directors

International Society for Study of Time

Acoustical Society of America

American Association for Advancement of Science: Fellow

Society for Music Perception & Cognition


Current research centers upon theoretical effects of structural variables upon attention and perception of auditory and visual patterns, with special emphasis upon the role of temporal structure (tempo, rhythm, etc.) Related interests involve modeling issues involving the dynamics of attending as well as building in content areas involving musical events and musical auditory patterns and serial concept formation.


Undergraduate-graduate statistics, experimental design courses, and mathematical models courses:

Topics include hypothesis-testing and standard techniques, parameter estimation theories, regression-correlation; analysis of variance. Also, laboratory courses for the experimental psychology majors and for psychology graduate students (ANOVA). These courses (Psychology 220, 221, 827) along with mathematical models courses (609) were taught for many years when I was a member of the Quantitative Area.

Current courses

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Seminar: Psychology H783

Considers how to write up and present senior honors research projects.

Auditory Perception: Introduction to Auditory Perception. Psychology 625.

Survey of data and theory in Psychoacoustics and newer approaches (Scene Analysis) to basic phenomena in auditory perception.

Thinking/Learning: Cognitive Processes III: Categorization. Psychology 879

Survey of early and recent theories of categorization using static and dynamic stimuli.

Seminars in perception and cognition; topics include:

Serial pattern learning,
Auditory pattern perception and memory for patterns,
Attention in audition and vision
Perception and production of sequences
Speech and music perception,
Dynamical systems applications in psychology
Rhythm and time estimation.


(Some links to full text of articles are only accessible from OSU machines or with an OSU password.)

Jones, M.R. (in press, June 1994). Attention and timing, Chapter 3 in Ecological Psychoacoustics, Edited by John G. Neuhoff, Academic Press

**Jones, M. R. (1976). Time, our lost dimension: Toward a new theory of perception, attention, and memory. Psychological Review, 83(5), 323-355.  [abstract]

*Jones, M. R. (1981). Only time can tell. Critical Inquiry, 7, 557-576.

*Hahn, J., & Jones, M. R. (1981). Invariants in auditory frequency. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 22, 129-144.

*Jones, M. R., Kidd, G., & Wetzel, R. (1981). Evidence for rhythmic attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 7, 1059-1073.

*Jones, M. R. (1981). A tutorial on some issues and methods in serial pattern research. Perception & Psychophysics, 30, 492-504.

*Jones, M. R. (1981). Music as a stimulus for psychological motion: Part I. Some determinants of expectancies. Psychomusicology, 1, 34-51.

*Jones, M. R. (1982). Music as a stimulus for psychological motion. Part II. An expectancy model. Psychomusicology, 2, 1-13.

*Jones, M. R. (1982). Validating internal hierarchies: A reply to Deutsch. Perception & Psychophysics, 31, 599-600.

*Jones, M. R., Boltz, M., & Kidd, G. (1982). Controlled attending as a function of melodic and temporal context. Perception & Psychophysics, 32, 211-218.

*Kidd, G., Boltz, M., & Jones, M. R. (1984). Some effects of rhythmic context on melody recognition. American Journal of Psychology, 97, 153-173.

Jones, M. R. (1985). Structural organization of events in time: A review. In J.A. Michon & J. Jackson-Roy (Eds.), Time, mind and behavior. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

*Klapp, S.T., Hill, M.D., Tyler, J.G., Martin, Z.E., Jagacinski, R.J., & Jones, M. R. (1985). On marching to two different drummers: Perceptual aspects of the difficulties. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 11, 814-827.

*Boltz, M., Marshburn, E., Jones, M. R., & Johnson, W. (1985). Serial pattern structure and temporal order recognition. Perception & Psychophysics, 37, 209-217.

Jones, M. R. (1986). Attentional rhythmicity in human perception. In J. Evans & M. Clynes (Eds.), Rhythm in language, learning and other life experiences. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

*Boltz, M., & Jones, M. R. (1986). Does rule recursion make melodies easier to reproduce? If not, what does? Cognitive Psychology, 18, 389-431.

*Jones, M. R., & Hahn, J. (1986). Invariants in sound. In V. McCabe & G. Balzano (Eds.), Event cognition: An ecological perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Jones, M. R., & MacCallum, R. (1987). An application of principal directions scaling to auditory pattern perception. In F. Young & R. Hamer (Eds.), Multidimensional scaling: Theory and applications. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Jones, M. R. (1987). Some thoughts on the relevance of Bergson to contemporary psychology. In A.C. Papanicolaou & P.A. Gunter (Eds.), The legacy of Henri Bergson: Towards a unification of the sciences. New York: Gordon & Breach Science Publishers.

*Jones, M. R., Summerell, L., & Marshburn, E. (1987). Recognizing melodies: A dynamic interpretation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 39A, 89-121.

Jones, M. R. (1987). Perspectives on musical time. In A. Gabrielsson (Ed.), Action and perception in rhythm and music. Stockholm: The Royal Swedish Academy of Music Publications.

*Jones, M. R. (1987). Dynamic pattern structure in music: Recent theory and research. Perception & Psychophysics, 41, 621-634.

*Jagacinski, R., Marshburn, E., Klapp, S.T., and Jones, M. R. (1988). Test of streamed vs. integrated structure in polyrhythmic tapping. Journal of Motor Behavior, 20, 416-442.

*Jones, M. R. (1988). What is an expectancy? Invited commentary submitted to Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 11, 387-388.

**Jones, M. R. and Boltz, M. (1989). Dynamic attending and responses to time. Psychological Review, 96(3), 459-491. [abstract]

**Jones, M. R. (1990). Musical events and models of musical time. In R. Block (Ed.), Cognitive models of psychological time. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

*Jones, M. R. (1990). A review of psychological foundations of musical behavior, (by Radocy, R., & Boyle, J.D.), in American Journal of Psychology, 103, 284-290.

*Jones, M. R. (1990). Learning and the development of expectancies: An interactionist approach. Psychomusicology, 9, 193-228.

*Jones, M. R., & Ralston, J. (1991). Some influences of accent structure on melody recognition. Memory and Cognition, 19, 8-20.

Jones, M. R. (1991). Attending to musical events. In M. R. Jones & S. Holleran (Eds.), Cognitive bases of musical communication. American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Jones, M. R., & Holleran, S. (Eds.), (1991). Cognitive bases of musical communication. American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.

Jones, M. R., & Yee, W. (1993). Attending to auditory events: The role of temporal organization. In S. McAdams & E. Brigand (Eds.), Cognitive aspects of human audition. Oxford University Press.

Jones, M. R. (1993). Understanding melody and music. How melody and rhythm fit together. In T. Tighe & W.J. Dowling (Eds.), Psychological approaches to understanding music. pgs 67-92.

*Jones, M. R., & Skelly, J. (1993). The role of event time in attending. Time and Society.2, 107-128.

*Jones, M. R., Boltz, M., & Klein, J. (1993). Duration judgments and expected endings. Memory and Cognition, 21, 646-665.

*Brown, H., Butler, D., & Jones, M. R. (1994). Tonal hierarchies and temporal order. Music Perception. 11, 371 - 407.

*Holleran, S., Butler, D., & Jones, M. R. (1995). Perceiving implied harmony: The role of melodic and harmonic context. Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Learning, Memory and Cognition, 21, 737-753.

*Jones, M. R., Jagacinski, R., Yee, W., & Klapp, S. (1995). Tests of attentional flexibility in listening to polyrhythmic patterns. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. [full text]

Yee, Wm., Holleran, S. & Jones, M. (1994). Sensitivity to event timing in regular and irregular sequences: Influences of musical skill. Perception & Psychophysics, 56 , 461 - 471.  [abstract] 

Klein, J. M. & Jones, M. R. (1996). Effects of attentional set and rhythmic complexity on attending. Perception & Psychophysics, 58, 34-46. [abstract] [full text]

Jones, M. R. & Yee, W. (1997). Sensitivity to Time Change: The role of context and skill. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 23, 693-709. [abstract] [full text]

** Jones, M. R. & Pfordresher, P. (1997) Tracking musical patterns using Joint Accent Structure. Canadian Journal of Psychology. 51, 271-290. [Abstract] [Abstract in French] 

Large, E. W. & Jones, M. R. (1999) The dynamics of attending: How we track time-varying events. Psychological Review , 106, 119-159. [abstract] [full text]

* Drake, C. , Jones, M. R., Baruch, C.  (2000) The development of rhythmic attending in auditory sequences: Attunement, Referent Period, Focal Attending.  Cognition 77(3), pp. 251-288. [abstract] [full text]

* Jones, M. R.  (2000) The Psychology of Music, sixteen years later. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 108(3), 879-881. [full text]

* Barnes, R. & Jones, M. R. (2000)  Expectancy, attention, and time.  Cognitive Psychology, 41, 254-311.  [abstract] [full text]

Drake, C., Jones, M. R. & Baruch, C. (2000) The development of rhythmic attending in auditory sequences: attunement, referent period, focal attending. Cognition, 77, 251-288. [abstract] [full text]

Drake, Carolyn; Jones, Mari Riess; Baruch, Clarisse (2000) The development of rhythmic attending in auditory sequences: attunement, referent period, focal attending, Cognition 77 (2000) 251-288 [full text]

Jones, M. R., Moynihan, H. MacKenzie, N., and Puente, J. (2002) Temporal Aspects of Stimulus-Driven Attending in Dynamic Arrays. Psychological Science[abstract] [full text]

*indicates refereed journals

[abstract] indicates abstract available on-line

To request reprints click on the [full text] link if available, or send a message to



National Science Foundation Grant BNS-7806997; May 1, 1978 - April 30, 1981
National Science Foundation Grant BNS-8204811; July 15, 1982 - December 31, 1984;
National Science Foundation Grant BNS-8403521; October 1, 1984 - March 31, 1988;
Conference Grant: Cognitive Bases of Musical Communication. Awarded by American Psychological Association; January, 1990;
Research on Implied Harmony. Awarded by Cognitive Science Center; March, 1990;
National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9412656; August 15, 1994 -July 31, 1997;
National Science Foundation grant SBR-9809445; July 1, 1998 to June 30, 2001.
International Foundation for Research in Music grant; August 1, 1999 to 2002.


Fellow Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), 1986-1987
Elected Member of Board of Directors, International Society of Ecological Psychology, 1986-1988
Fellow American Psychological Association
Fellow American Psychological Society
Fellow American Association for Advancement of Science
Member: Board of Directors of Society for Music Cognition/Perception
A Recipient of Carolyn Monahan award for Research in Music Cognition
Joan Huber Distinguished Scholar Award (2000)
Fred Brown Research Award (2000).


University Committees

Faculty Senate 1971-1973
Executive Committee, Faculty Senate 1972-1973
Green Ribbon Committee 1969-1972
Reorganization of Liberal Arts Colleges (Wilke) 1972-1973?
President's Committee for University policy on Business/Industry Relationships (Kuwana) 1982-1983
Chair: President's committee on Affirmative Action Policy (all University branches) 1984-1985
University Post-doctoral awards committee 1988-90;92
Provost’s Promotion & Tenure Committee 1996-1999

College Activities

Committee on Faculty Leaves/Sabbaticals 1980-1983
Chair: Search committee for Communications Department Chair 1983-1984
Chair: Search committee for Geography Department Chair 1994
Reviewer: Multiple Seed Grant applications 1982-1993

Department/Cognitive Science Center

Search Committees

For chair of Psychology Dept 1970?
For Counseling faculty 1972
For three Quantitative faculty
(Three committees) ca. 1973;74;86
Chair: For Psychobiology faculty 1975
Academic Challenge Grant searches
(Five faculty positions) 1987-1991
Chair: For Perception faculty
(Two faculty positions) 1990-1991
For Cognitive/Exp. faculty 1995-1996
For Chair of Department 1997

Department Promotion & Tenure Committees

Quantitative (MacCallum) 1980
Chair: Experimental (Owen) 1977
Experimental (Shulman) 1977&79
Chair: Experimental (Jagacinski)
(Two committees chaired) 1975;1983
Counseling (Heesacker) 1988
Branch (Staats) 1988
Chair: Experimental (Palmer)
(Two committees chaired) 1991;93
Chair: Experimental (Boland) 1994
Member: Department P&T 1998
Chair: Department of Psychology P&T reading committee 1999
Psychology Department & Cognitive Science Center
Undergraduate program committee 1970-1975, 1989-1992
Undergraduate Advisor for all Psychology Majors 1970-71
Chair: Speakers/library committee 1971-73
Stipends committee 1975-79
Head: Experimental Area 1979-83, 1985-86
Space Committee (Lazenby planning) 1979-85?
Chair (and initiator of): Ethics committee 1979-86
{Authored: Student Handbook on Harassment}
Committee for reorganization Intro Psych 1986-93
Chair: Subject Pool committee 1988-90 {Computerized subject pool procedures} 1989
Subject Pool committee member 1990-92
Shop committee 1991-1996
Chair: Ad Hoc Stipends committee 1992-1993 {restructured grad stipends awards}
Chair: Cog. Sci. Music Symposium committee 1989-1990 {APA sponsored symposium & book resulted} 1990-1991
Member: FACTs committee 1995-present
Head: Cognitive Experimental area 1996-1998
Member: Executive Committee 1996-1998
Member: Stipends Committee 1993-1996
Member: Undergraduate program committee 1998


The Dynamics of Attending and Scene Analysis, is available in PowerPoint and HTML (no animations) formats.