James Dixon

Professor & Director, Center for the

Ecological Study of Perception & Action

Research Interests:

  • Self-organization in perception, action, and cognition
  • Thermodynamic origins of behavior
  • Complex behavior in non-living dissipative systems
  • Fractal & multifractal analysis


Undergraduate courses

  • General Psychology I

Graduate courses:

  • Control and Coordination of Action
  • Longitudinal Methods


Representative Publications:

  • Davis, T. J., Kondepudi, D., Kay, B. A., Dixon, J. A. (2016). Spontaneous inter-entity coordination in a dissipative structure. Ecological Psychology, 28, 23–36.
  • Davis, T. J., Brooks, T. R., & Dixon, J. A. (2016). Multi-scale interactions in interpersonal coordination. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 5, 25-43. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.01.015
  • Dixon, J. A., Kondepudi, D., Kay, B. A. & Davis, T. J. (2016). End-directedness and context in non-living dissipative systems. In E. N. Dzhafarov (Ed.), Contextuality from Quantum Physics to Psychology (pp. 185-206). World Scientific Press, Hackensack, NJ.
  • Satterwhite-Warden, J., Kondepudi, D., Dixon, J. A., & Rusling, J. (2015). Co-operative motion of multiple Benzoquinone (BQ) disks at the air-water interface. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 17, 29891-29898. 
  • Kondepudi, D., Kay, B., & Dixon, J. A. (2015). End-directed evolution and the emergence of energy-seeking behavior in a complex system. Physical Review E, 91(5), 050902.
  • Dixon, J. A., Stephen, D. G., Boncoddo, R. A. , & Anastas, J. (2010). The self-organization of cognitive structure. In B. Ross (Ed.), The psychology of learning & motivation, vol. 52, (pp. 343-384). San Diego, CA: Elsevier.
  • Stephen, D. G., Boncoddo, R. A., Magnuson, J. S., & Dixon, J. A. (2009). The dynamics of insight: Mathematical discovery as a phase transition. Memory & Cognition, 37, 1132-1149.
  • Boncoddo, R., Dixon, J. A., & Kelley, E. (2010). The emergence of a novel representation from action: Evidence from preschoolers. Developmental Science, 13, 370-377.
  • Stephen, D. G., Dixon, J. A., & Isenhower, R. (2009). Dynamics of representational change: Action, entropy, & cognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 35, 1811-1822.
  • Stephen, D. G., & Dixon, J. A. (2009). The self-organization of insight: Entropy and power laws in problem solving. Journal of Problem Solving, 2, 72-101.
James Dixon
Contact Information
Mailing AddressUnit 1020
Office LocationBousfield 126