Center for Research in Language
University of California, San Diego
95000 Gillman Dr. Dept 0526
La Jolla, CA 92093-0526
Google Scholar Citations
Visual language, narrative structure, cognitive/conceptual
semantics, event structure, cognitive neuroscience, cross-cultural cognition, linguistic relativity,
development of drawing and narrative, visual language in education, multimodality
Education and Research:
Ph.D. 2012. Tufts
University. Psychology. (Advisors: Ray
M.S. 2010. Tufts
M.A. 2005. University
Social Sciences (multidisciplinary)
B.A. with Honors. 2002. University
of California, Berkeley. Asian Studies: Japan and Buddhism
• Spring 2001. Tsuru
Bunka Daigaku (Tsuru
University). Tsuru, Japan. (Exchange Student)
Postdoctoral Researcher. 2012. Center for Research in Language at UCSD. (Advisors: Marta Kutas, Jeff Elman)
2013. Robert J. Glushko Dissertation Prize. Cognitive Science Society.
2012-2013. UCSD Center for Research in Language Postdoctoral Training Grant (NIH Funded).
2007. M. Thomas Inge Award for Comics Scholarship.
2003. Best Essay, Berkeley Undergradate Journal.
2002. Member, National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the structure and cognition of sequential images. New York, NY: Bloomsbury. Forthcoming (2013).
Early Writings on Visual Language.
Carlsbad, CA: Emaki Productions. 2003.
"La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats." (illustrated adaptation). In Kick, Russ (ed). The Graphic Canon: The Definitive Anthology of the World's Great Literature as Comics and Visuals (3 volumes). New York: Seven Stories Press. 2012.
BookSurge Publishing. 2006.
People: A Call to Take Back America.
with Thom Hartmann (author).Portland, OR: Coreway
Books (Illustrations and/or Graphics Consultant):
A Users Guide to Thought and Meaning. by Ray Jackendoff. London: Oxford. 2012.
Meaning and the Lexicon. by Ray Jackendoff. London: Oxford. 2010.
Japanese: Volume One. by Yoko Hasegawa. Rutland, VT: Tuttle
Cohn, Neil. 2013. Navigating Comics: An empirical and theoretical approach to strategies of reading comic page layouts. Frontiers in Cognitive Science. 4: 1-15.
Cohn, Neil. In Press. Beyond speech balloons and thought bubbles: The integration of text and image. Semiotica.
Cohn, Neil. 2013. Visual narrative structure. Cognitive Science. 37(3): 413-452
Cohn, Neil. 2012. Explaining “I can’t draw”: Parallels between the structure and development of language and drawing. Human Development. 55(4): 167-192
Cohn, Neil, Amaro Taylor-Weiner and Suzanne Grossman. 2012. Framing attention in Japanese and American comics: Cross-cultural differences in attentional structure. Frontiers in Psychology - Cultural Psychology. 3: 1-12
Cohn, Neil, Martin Paczynski, Ray Jackendoff, Phillip Holcomb, and Gina Kuperberg. 2012. (Pea)nuts and bolts of visual narrative: Structure and meaning in sequential image comprehension. Cognitive Psychology. 65(1):1-38.
Cohn, Neil. 2012. Comics, linguistics, and visual language: The past and future of a field. In Bramlett, Frank (ed). Linguistics and the Study of Comics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cohn, Neil. 2011. A Different Kind of Cultural Frame: An Analysis of Panels in American Comics and Japanese Manga. Image [&] Narrative. 12(1):120-134.
Cohn, Neil. 2010. Extra! Extra! Semantics in Comics!: The Conceptual Structure of Chicago Tribune Advertisements. Journal of Pragmatics. 42(11):3138–3146
Cohn, Neil. 2010. The limits of time and transitions: Challenges to theories of sequential image comprehension. Studies in Comics. 1(1):127-147
Kuperberg, Gina, Arim Choi, Neil Cohn, Martin Paczynski, and Ray Jackendoff. 2010. Electrophysiological correlates of complement coercion. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(12): 2685-2701
Cohn, Neil. 2007. A visual lexicon. Public
Journal of Semiotics. Vol. 1(1):53-84
Wilson, Colin, Neil Cohn, James Myers, Stephen J. Goldberg, and Ariel Cohen-Goldberg. 2012. Grammatical approaches to written and graphical communication. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles, & R.P. Cooper (Eds), Proceedings of the 34rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 52-53). Austin: TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Cohn, Neil, Amaro Taylor-Weiner and Suzanne Grossman. 2012. Framing attention in American and Japanese comics. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles, & R.P. Cooper (Eds), Proceedings of the 34rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 240-245). Austin: TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Cohn, Neil, Phil Holcomb, Ray Jackendoff, and Gina Kuperberg. 2012. Segmenting visual narratives: Evidence for constituent structure in comics. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles, & R.P. Cooper (Eds), Proceedings of the 34rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 234-239). Austin: TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Cohn, Neil, Martin Paczynski, Ray Jackendoff, Phillip Holcomb, and Gina Kuperberg. 2011. Comics on the brain: Structure and meaning in sequential image comprehension. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T. Shipley (Eds), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 3122-3127). Austin: TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Cohn, Neil. 2010. Japanese Visual Language: The structure of manga. In Manga: An Anthology of Global and Cultural Perspectives. Ed.
Toni Johnson-Woods. Continuum Books. pp. 187-203
Cohn, Neil. 2005. Un-Defining "Comics."
International Journal of Comic Art, Vol. 7(2):236-248.
Columns for www.comixpedia.com:
Theory 101: Loopy framing." March 2007.
Theory 101: Visual Poetry." November 2006.
Theory 101: Seeing Rhymes." June 2006.
Theory 101: Too Many Twos." March 2006.
Theory 101: Passing Judgment." January 2006.
"Comic Theory 101: In place of another." October 2005.
'Comics.'" July 2005.
"Interactive Comics?" February 2005.
the Comic Aristocracy." Part
1. Part 2. October
versus Language." July 2004.
Identity Crisis." April 2004.
Comics’ Boundaries." January 2004.
Cohn, Neil. 2004. Methods of the Enlightened. Aya-Com-Text, Vol.
1. Tsuru-shi, Japan. pp. i-vii.
Cohn, Neil. 2003. A Time Frame of Mind. Berkeley
Undergraduate Journal, No. 31. Berkeley, CA. pp.
1-34 (Chosen “Best Essay”)
Cohn, Neil, Martin Paczynski, Ray Jackendoff, Phillip Holcomb, and Gina Kuperberg. 2011. Impacto da estrutura e significado na imagem seqüencial Compreensão [Impact of structure and meaning on sequential image comprehension]. Translated into Portuguese by Pedro Moura. In Moura, Pedro (Ed). Rei Rubro. Antologia internacional de ensaios sobre banda desenhada, ilustração e animação. Vol. 1. Montesinos: Lisboa.
Cohn. Neil. 2010. Разбијање Аефиниције Стрипа [Un-defining “comics”]. Stripolis. Vol. 2. Translated into Serbian by Branko Djukić.
Cohn, Neil. 2009. Razbijanje definicije"'stripa" [Un-Defining “Comics”]. Zarez. 247(8) Translated into Croatian by Monika Bregovic.
"Visual language theory: The structure of sequential images." (Keynote) Meeting on the Psychology of Manga. Chiba University, Japan. August 7, 2012. [In English and Japanese]
"What Comics Can Tell Us About The Mind." New England Comics Art in the Classroom Conference, Rhode Island College. March 26, 2011
"What is 'Visual Language'?" Psychology Department Brown Bag Lunch. Dartmouth University. October 22, 2009.
"Foundations for a Visual Language Grammar." Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative. MIT. October 9, 2009.
"What is 'Visual Language'?" Visual
Thinking Lecture Series. University of Toronto. May 14, 2009.
"Visual Language." Graphic Novel Writing Class. Emerson University.
February 10, 2009. (Guest Lecture)
"Visual Language." Comics and Social Commentary Class, Benjamin
Franklin Instutite of Technology. October 1, 2008. (Guest Lecture)
"Japanese Visual Language" [In Japanese].Showa Boston. Tufts
University. September 3, 2008.
"What is 'Visual Language'?" Visual
and Iconic Languages Conference. San Diego, CA. July 22, 2008 (Keynote)
"Visual Language: What 'Comics' Can Tell Us about the Mind."
VizThink 08.San Francisco, CA.
January 26-29, 2008 (Facilitator)
"Foundations for a Natural Visual Language Grammar." Visual
and Iconic Languages Conference. University of New Mexico. August
2, 2007 (Keynote)
"The Visual Language of Comics." CAST
Inc. Wakefield, MA. March 14, 2007
"Visual Language." Center
for Cartoon Studies. White River Junction, VT. October 26, 2006
"Visual Language." Museum
of Contemporary Art. Los Angeles, CA. September 5, 2004
Art 98: "The Craft of Comics." UC
Berkeley. Fall 2002, Spring 2002, 2003 (Guest lecturer).
Cohn, Neil. "The grammar of visual narratives: Structure and processing of sequential images in comics." Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan. 2012
Cohn, Neil, Phillip Holcomb, Ray Jackendoff, and Gina Kuperberg. "Segmenting visual narratives: Constituent structure in comics." Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan. 2012
Cohn Neil, Amaro Taylor-Weiner, and Suzanne Grossman. "Framing attention in American and Japanese comics." Paper presented at the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Sapporo, Japan. 2012.
Cohn Neil, Phil Holcomb, Ray Jackendoff, and Gina Kuperberg. “Constituency structure in visual narrative: Evidence from reading times and event-related potentials.” Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Chicago, IL, 2012
Cohn, Neil, Martin Paczynski, Phillip Holcomb, Ray Jackendoff, and Gina Kuperberg. “This is Your Brain on Comics: Impact of structure and meaning on sequential image comprehension.” Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA, 2011
Cohn, Neil, Martin Paczynski, Phillip Holcomb, Ray Jackendoff, and Gina Kuperberg. “Impact of structure and meaning on sequential image comprehension.” 23nd Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, 2010 (Poster)
Cohn, Neil. "The Grammar of 'Comics.'" PCA/ACA
National Conference. Boston, MA. April 5, 2007 (Winner of the M.
Thomas Inge Award for Comics Scholarship)
Cohn, Neil. "Towards a Visual Language Grammar." 5th
Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature. Krakov, Poland.
March 17-19, 2005
Cohn, Neil. "Bimodality of Language." Scottish
Word and Image Group. University of Dundee. Dundee, Scotland. May
Frequent speaker at the
Comic Arts Conference at ComicCon International. San Diego, CA:
• "This is Your Brain on Comics ." July 24, 2010
• "Action Starring Narrative and Events." July 23, 2009
• "Japanese Visual
Language ." July 25, 2008
• "Navigating Comics." July 27, 2007
• "Comics and Education." July 26, 2007
• "The Secret
of Sequence." July 21, 2006
• "The Visual Language of Comics." July
• "A Force
of Change." July 14, 2005
• "The Union
of Text and Image." July 24, 2004
Comics, Again!?" Group panel. July 22, 2004
• "Beyond Panel
Transitions: A New Look at Sequentiality." July 18, 2003
to Visual Language." August 1, 2002
Teaching (Class Instructor):
Martial Arts: History, Philosophy, and Life. Spring 2011. Tufts University (Instructor)
How Language Works. Summer
2010. Tufts University: Osher Lifetime Learning Center (Instructor)
Comics and the Mind. Fall
2009. Tufts University: Osher Lifetime Learning Center (Instructor)
Visual Linguistics of Comics (Psyc 196-02). Spring
2009. Tufts University
"Comic Book Design" Class. Fall 2002-Spring 2003. Longfellow Arts Middle
School: Extended Day Program. Berkeley, CA.
Teaching (Teacher's Assistant, including lectures):
Introduction to Cognitive and Brain Sciences (with Phil Holcomb). Spring 2011, 2012. Tufts
Introduction to Psychology. Fall 2010. Tufts
Biological Foundations of Language (with Ray Jackendoff). Spring 2008, 2010 (unofficial). Tufts
Syntactic Theory (with Ray Jackendoff). Spring 2007, 2010. Tufts
Introduction to Linguistics (with Ray Jackendoff or Ariel Cohen-Goldberg). Fall 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011. Tufts University
Graduate Institute for Teachers. Tufts
University. Summer 2007.
Research and Consulting:
Archie Comics. Fall 2010.
• Advising for role of comics in education
Design for Learning. 2005
• National Advisory
Board Member for "Composition Initiative."
• Created graphic
works on photosynthesis for "Multimedia" project.
Research assistant for Christopher
Johnson, University of Chicago, Summer 2005.
• Searched child
language data for grammatical constructions.
Martial Arts Training
Bahk Do, Moo Duk Kwan Federation
1993-Present. Fourth Dan ("Black" Belt), Sa Bom (Certified Master Instructor).
Instructor: Ted Mason Sa
Bom Nim, Oceanside, CA.
Assistant Instructor Oceanside/Carlsbad Soo Bahk Do.
Head Instructor of the Tufts
Soo Bahk Do Club.
1999-2003. Guang Ping Yang Tai Chi. Instructor: Sifu
Jarl Forsman, Berkeley, CA
2004-2005. Tai Chi Tao Club at University of Chicago
• 2008-2011: Head Instructor of Tai Chi athletics course, Tufts University Athletics Department
1999-2000. Aikido. Instructors: Kayla
Feder Sensei, Berkeley, CA.; Tetsutaka
Sugawara Sensei, Machida, Japan.
2001. Shorinji Kempo. Club at Tsuru University, Tsuru, Japan
2002-2003. Instructor at Longfellow Arts Middle
School: Extended Day Program. Berkeley, CA.
2005-2006. Instructor at Rising Phoenix Martial
Arts at Quads Gym. Chicago, IL.