Tim Welsh

Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education
University of Toronto
55 Harbord Street, Room WS2042 
Toronto, ON
M5S 2W6
Phone: 416.946.3303
Email: t.welsh@utoronto.ca

Twitter: @DrTimWelsh

Action and Attention Lab
Centre for Motor Control


Ph.D. Human Biodynamics - McMaster University, 2002

M.Sc. Human Biodynamics - McMaster University, 1999

B.P.H.E. Physical and Health Education – University of Toronto, 1997



Planning and Control of Goal-directed Limb and Eye Movements
Selective Attention
Movement in Social Contexts
Perception of Nonhuman Animal Bodies and Actions
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Cognitive and Motor Disorders such as Down Syndrome and Autism 


Research Objectives and Interests

The objective of my research is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie the goal-directed actions of people from average and special populations such as Down syndrome, autism, and dystonia. My research involves the four themes: 1) perception-action coupling in individual and social action contexts; 2) selective attention; 3) action and cognition in real and virtual environments; and, 4) motor control in average and special populations.  It is my hope that once a detailed knowledge of the processes underlying behaviour has been developed, the scientific and clinical communities can work together to create the optimal rehabilitative, learning, and working conditions necessary to facilitate the performance of all members of society. 

Selected Recent Papers

1. Perception-action coupling in individual and social action contexts

Constable, M.D., Pratt, J., Gozli, D.G., & Welsh, T.N. (2015). Do you see what I see? Co-actor posture modulates visual processing in joint tasks. Visual Cognition, 23, 699-719.

Welsh, T.N., McDougall, L.M., & Paulson, S.D. (2014). The personification of animals: Coding of human and nonhuman body parts based on posture and function. Cognition, 132, 398–415.

Böckler, A., van der Wel, R.P., & Welsh, T.N. (2014). Catching eyes: Effects of social and non-social cues on attention capture. Psychological Science, 25, 720-727.

White, N.C., Reid, C., & Welsh, T.N. (2014). Responses of the human motor system to observing actions across species: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study. Brain and Cognition, 92, 11-18.

Wong, L., Manson, G., Tremblay, L., & Welsh. T.N. (2013). On the relationship between action execution, perception, and imagination. Behavioral Brain Research, 257, 242-252.

2. Selective Attention and Decision Making

Neyedli, H.F., & Welsh, T.N. (2015). The prioritization of probability over value in action selection. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68, 261-283.

Neyedli, H.F., & Welsh, T.N. (2014). People are better at maximizing expected gain in a manual aiming task with rapidly changing probabilities than with rapidly changing payoffs. Journal of Neurophysiology, 111, 1016-1026.

Welsh T.N., Neyedli, H.F., & Tremblay, L. (2013). Refining the time course of facilitation and inhibition in attention and action. Neuroscience Letters, 554, 6-10.

3. Action and cognition in real and virtual environments

Jovanov, K., Clifton, P., Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., & Welsh, T.N. (2015). The limb-specific embodiment of a tool following experience. Experimental Brain Research. 233, 2685-2694.

Mazalek, A., Nitsche, M., Chandrasekharan, S., Welsh, T., Clifton, P., Quitmeyer, A., Peer, F., & Kirschner, F. (2013). Recognizing your self in virtual avatars. International Journal of Arts and Technology, 6, 83-105.

Mazalek, A., Welsh, T.N., Nitsche, M., Reid, C., Clifton, P., Leighton, F., & Tan, K. (2013). Reach across the boundary: evidence of physical tool appropriation following virtual practice. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 155-158. 

4. Motor control in average and special populations

Kiernan, D., Manson, G., Heath, M.D., Tremblay, L., & Welsh, T.N. (2016). Corrections in saccade endpoints scale to the amplitude of target displacements in a double-step paradigm. Neuroscience Letters. 611, 46-50.

McDougall, L.M, Kiernan, D., Kiss, Z.H.T., Suchowersky, O., & Welsh, T.N. (2015). Abnormal surround inhibition does not affect asymptomatic limbs in people with cervical dystonia. Neuroscience Letters, 604, 7-11.

Manson, G.A., Sayenko, D.G., Masani, K., Wong, L., Goodman, R., Popovic, M.R, Tremblay, L., & Welsh, T.N. (2014). Action possibility judgments of people with varying motor abilities due to spinal cord injury. PLoS-ONE, 9, e110250.

Welsh, T.N., Hoang, S., Chandrasekharan, S., Paulson, S., Lynnes, A., & Ayres, F. (2009). Goal-directed Saccades of Young Adults with and without Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome Quarterly, 11, 10-15.

Welsh, T.N., Ray, M., Weeks, D.J., Dewey, D., & Elliott, D. (2009). Does Joe influence Fred’s action? Not if Fred has autism spectrum disorder. Brain Research, 1248, 141-148.

More of Dr. Welsh’s publications can be found on Research Gate

Current Research Grants 

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Discovery Grant - Motor Representations in Individual and Joint Action Contexts

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Insight Grant, Principal Investigator (Dr. Ali Mazalek) - Supporting spatial ability with tangible and embodied interactions 

Professional Memberships 

Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS)

Down Syndrome Research Foundation

Psychonomic Society

Lab Members


Dr. Merryn Constable, Postdoctoral Fellow

Kim Jovanov, M.Sc. student

Skye Howard, M.Sc. student

Emma Yoxon, Ph.D. student

Michelle McPhee, M.Sc. student


Selected Former Trainees

Dr. Heather Neyedli (Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University)

Dr. Sanjay Chandrasekharan (Lecturer, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India)

Dr. Cheryl Glazebrook (Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba)

Dr. Matthew Ray (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Memorial University)


**Dr. Welsh will be taking on graduate students in the coming year**