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


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 Parkinson’s disease. My research focuses on three major themes: 1) selective attention; 2) perception-action coupling in individual and social action contexts; and, 3) cerebral specialization of cognitive and motor processes.  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.


Research Awards

Early Career Distinguished Scholar - North American Society for Psychology for Sport and Physical Activity, 2009
Outstanding Graduate Supervision Award – Graduate Student Association, University of Calgary, 2008
Franklin Henry Young Scientist Award - Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology, 2003

Selected Recent Publications

Note: Names in bold are postdoctoral, graduate, or undergraduate students Prof. Welsh supervised or co-supervised at the time of data collection.

Yoxon, E., Tremblay, L., & Welsh, T.N. (2015). Effect of task-specific execution on accuracy of imagined aiming movements. Neuroscience Letters, 585, 72-76.


Welsh, T.N., Manzone, J., & McDougall, L.M. (2014). Knowledge of response location alone is not sufficient to generate social inhibition of return. Acta Psychologica, 153, 153-159.


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.


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.

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., 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.


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.

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.


Welsh T.N., Wong, L., & Chandresekharan, S. (2013). Factors that affect action possibility judgments: The assumed abilities of other people. Acta Psychologica, 143, 235-244.


Ray, M., Dewey, D., Kooistra, L., & Welsh, T.N. (2013). The relationship between the immediate and short-term effects of action observation on the motor system. Human Movement Science, 32, 400-411.


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.


Kiernan, D., Ray, M., & Welsh, T.N. (2012). Inverting the joint Simon effect by intention. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 914-920.

Ray, M.
, & Welsh, T.N. (2011). Response selection during a joint action task. Journal of Motor Behavior, 43, 329-332.

Current Research Grants

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

Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, Early Researcher Award - The Role of End-State Comfort in Planning and Executing Actions


Professional Memberships

Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology (SCAPPS)

Down Syndrome Research Foundation

North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)

Psychonomic Society

Lab Members

Dr. Merryn Constable, Postdoctoral Fellow

Matthew Ray, Ph.D. Student

Kim Jovanov, M.Sc. student

Skye Howard, M.Sc. student

Sandra Pacione, M.Sc. student

Emma Yoxon, M.Sc. student

Joseph Manzone, B.Kin. Student


Selected Former Trainees

Dr. Heather Neyedli (Dalhousie University)

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

Dr. Cheryl Glazebrook (University of Manitoba)


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