Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Rolf Nelson

What I teach: Psychology courses—”Cognition,” “Perception,” “Consciousness,” “Lab in Cognitive Psychology,” “Practicum in Psychological Research,” “Senior Seminar.”

What keeps me excited about teaching: I love connecting with students who are excited to learn about topics in psychology they never knew existed.  So many Wheaton students have an intellectual curiosity, and there’s nothing like partnering with them on developing their ideas.

Why I chose Wheaton: There’s nothing like a small liberal arts community. I want to be around academics who care about their work, and I like the balance between teaching and research.

My research focus: I mainly study perceptual organization in vision things like grouping and figure-ground perception. Lately I’ve been interested in how video games affect perception and cognition.

The connected course I’m teaching now and what I hope students get from it: I’m teaching several connected courses, but one that I hope students get is “Body and Mind,” in which a cognitive-based psychology course is connected to “Intro to Physiology.” The relation of the brain and the mind is something that everyone should give thought to.

What I want every Wheaton student to learn: Take to heart your connected courses; integrating knowledge from across disciplines is one of the great advantages of a liberal arts education.

One of the best books I’ve read: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami.

What few people know about me: I’ve written several novels for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).