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Dr Staci Vicary



PhD Psychology, 2014 (The MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University)


Staci Vicary is a lecturer in the Discipline of Psychological Sciences at ACAP. Staci’s PhD thesis investigated the way in which adults remember actions performed by others (e.g. when learning a new dance, or when observing a crime take place). Before coming to ACAP, Staci worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Goldsmiths University, London, investigating the social cohesive effects of group movement and performance. This research aimed to determine whether moving together in time might help to promote social cohesion, and might also provide explanation as to why audiences enjoy watching dance.

Staci is currently working on a number of collaborative research programs, as well as being a passionate teacher of undergraduate psychology courses, being recently awarded teaching excellence recognition for her contribution to student learning. Staci currently teaches first year Introductory Psychology (PSYC1032, PSYC1022) as well as elective units of study focusing on stress and resilience (PSYC3072).

Research Interests

Staci’s research interests are predominantly within the area of cognitive psychology, with a focus on human memory and body perception.

Current areas of interest and research collaboration include the role of attractiveness and distinctiveness in face recognition memory; memory for human body movement; effects of mindfulness meditation on short-term memory and executive function; dance perception and audience engagement; as well as effective methods of teaching and communication in tertiary psychology education.

Staci currently supervises student research projects focusing on the role of power napping on short-term memory, creativity, and executive function and parental concerns regarding school transition for children with autism.

Expert Comment Topics
Cognitive Psychology
Human Memory


  • Pollick, F. E., Vicary, S., Noble, K., Kim, N., Jang, S., & Stevens, C. J. (2018). Exploring collective experience in watching dance through intersubject correlation and functional connectivity of fMRI brain activity. In Progress in brain research (Vol. 237, pp. 373-397). Elsevier.
  • Howlin, C., Vicary, S., & Orgs, G. Audiovisual aesthetics of sound and movement in contemporary dance, Empirical Studies of the Arts (under review)
  • von Zimmermann, J., Vicary, S., Sperling, M., Orgs, G., & Richardson, D. C. (2018). The choreography of group affiliation. Topics in cognitive science, 10(1), 80-94.
  • Vicary, S., Sperling, M., von Zimmermann, J., Richardson, D. C., & Orgs, G. (2017). Joint action aesthetics. PloS one, 12(7), e0180101.
  • Vicary, S. A., Robbins, R. A., Calvo-Merino, B., & Stevens, C. J. (2014). Recognition of dance-like actions: Memory for static posture or dynamic movement?. Memory & cognition, 42(5), 755-767.
  • Vicary, S. A., & Stevens, C. J. (2014). Posture-based processing in visual short-term memory for actions. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(12), 2409-2424.
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