Conor T McLennan, Ph.D.
 Title: Assoc Dean & Professor
Director, Language Research Laboratory
 Dept: College Arts and Sciences, Dean's Office
 Office: SR 353
 Phone: 216-875-9832,  lab: 687-3834
 Fax: 216-687-9294
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. SR 353, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught


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Research Keywords:
word recognition, speech, language, perception, memory, cognitive, psychology, aging, password security, bilingual, bilingualism, cognition, life span, lifespan
Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 2003
B.A., Spanish and Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 1999
Brief Bio:
Google Scholar Profile:
Web of Science Author Record:

Dr. McLennan received his B.A. (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) from the University at Buffalo (UB).  He then spent three more years at UB on a post-doc position, gaining additional research experience.

Dr. McLennan's research program, which has received funding from the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH: NIDCD), explores the representations and processes involved in the perception of spoken language.

His interest in language dates back to (at least) high school, when he first became enamored with the Spanish language. After majoring in Spanish in high school and college (he received a B.A. with a double major in Spanish and Psychology), he became interested in languages more generally, and decided to pursue graduate work in cognitive psychology and to work with Dr. Luce in the Language Perception Laboratory.

Dr. McLennan began his career at Cleveland State University in August 2006. In addition to being an active researcher, Dr. McLennan teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in cognitive psychology and related areas (see "Courses Taught" for more information), he has served or is currently serving as a core member of the Undergraduate Program Committee, the Psychological Science Program M.A. Committee, the Adult Development and Aging Ph.D. Program Committee, as previous Director of the Honors Program in Psychology, and as a Member of several other committees at the Department, College, and University levels.  

Dr. McLennan also serves as the primary mentor and advisor to several students, including supervising undergraduate honors theses, M.A. theses, and doctoral dissertations. He has published his work in top-tier professional journals, he was the recipient of the 2016 Department of Psychology Outstanding Research Award, he was the recipient of the 2013 College of Sciences and Health Professions Jearl D. Walker Outstanding Teacher Award, he has received a Merit Award (five times), has served as a Distinguished Educator for Turning Technologies, and more.

Drs. McLennan and Incera developed the Psychology of Language Video series - check it out!
Honors and Awards:
-College of Sciences and Health Professions Outstanding Research Award

-Department of Psychology Outstanding Research Award

-Golden Apple Award - for outstanding contributions to the lives of Cleveland State University students
Young Alumni Council of Cleveland State University
2015 and 2016

-College of Sciences and Health Professions Jearl D. Walker Outstanding Teacher Award

-Faculty Merit Recognition Award
2017, 2016, 2012, 2009, and 2008

-Turning Technologies Distinguished Educator

-Outstanding Student Employee Supervisor Award Nominee
2010, 2009, and 2008

-Graduate Faculty Travel Award  

-Teaching Enhancement Grant Award

-United University Professions Individual Development Award

-Robert W. Rice Memorial Research Award Recipient

-B.A. Cum Laude

-High Honors in Psychology, Honors Thesis

-Spanish National Honor Society

-Graduating Honors in Psychology

-Graduating Honors in Spanish
Creative and Activities:
My colleagues and I invented a model for password security in which users places game pieces on a board. The new model is both easy to remember and extremely secure. Visit the link below - and feel free to contact me if you'd like to learn more about our invention.

Watch my Featured Researcher Video:

Watch and share! The Psychology of Language Video Series:

Read - APS article about The Psychology of Language Video Series:

Follow my lab on Twitter: @CSULRL

Here's an article I wrote about the Cav's championship win for the Buffalo News:
Research Interests:
Dr. McLennan is a cognitive psychologist who directs the Language Research Laboratory. His research interests include language perception, bilingualism, cognitive aging, and other topics in perception, language, and cognition. The goals of his research program include understanding how various populations of listeners represent and process spoken language, understanding the role of bilingualism on cognitive processes such as inhibition, and considering how language research can be applied in interesting ways to address practical problems in other areas.

Dr. McLennan's research program has received funding from the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH: NIDCD), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and CSU.

Dr. McLennan's main area of research is aimed at understanding the processes and representations involved in listeners' impressive ability to recognize spoken language rapidly and accurately, and this work takes place in the Language Research Laboratory at CSU.  The research on processing issues focuses primarily on the nature of lexical activation and competition, and the work on representational issues examines the nature of sound-based representations in the mental lexicon, in particular their abstractness and specificity.

See: "Publications" button, above

For more information, please visit the Language Research Laboratory's web page:

My Google Scholar Profile:

My Web of Science Author Record:
Teaching Areas:
Dr. McLennan often teaches in the Psychological Science specialization of the M.A. program in Psychology, and in the Adult Development and Aging Ph.D. program. Course topics include Learning, Memory and Cognition, Research and Thesis, and Cognitive Psychology of Aging. He has also taught undergraduate courses in Memory and Cognition, Behavioral Science Statistics, and Special Topics in Psychology, such as the Psychology of Magic and Illusions, and the Psychology of Language.

See: "Courses Taught" button, above
Professional Affiliations:
Acoustical Society of America (ASA), Member
American Psychological Association, (APA), Member
Association for Psychological Science (APS), Member
Midwestern Psychological Association, (MPA), Fellow
Psychonomic Society, Fellow
Professional Experience:
Cleveland State University

Faculty - Department of Psychology
-Assistant Professor: August 20, 2006 - August 19, 2012
-Associate Professor: August 20, 2012 - August 19, 2018
-Professor: August 20, 2018 - Present

Administration - College of Arts and Sciences (previously: College of Sciences and Health Professions)
-Interim Associate Dean - July 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022
-Associate Dean - January 1, 2023 - present

Administration - Department of Psychology
-Chair - July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021

Administration - Office of Research
-Special Assistant to the Vice President for Research: August 20, 2012 - June 30, 2013
-Interim Associate Vice President for Research: August 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014
-Associate Vice President for Research: July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Research Scientist
Language Perception Laboratory
Psychology Department
2003 - 2006

Drug Name Confusion Project
(Supported by U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 5 R01 HS011609, Bruce Lambert, PI)
Research Scientist
2005 - 2008

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Graduate Research Assistant
Language Perception Laboratory
Department of Psychology
1999 - 2003
University Service:
Some Examples of Service ...

      -Experimental Research Program (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
      -Department of Psychology Honors Program (Fall 2011 - Summer 2013)

Research Participation Administrator:
     -Psychology Department, Cleveland State University (Fall, 2006 - Fall 2011)

Laboratory Director:
     -Language Research Laboratory (Fall, 2006 - present)

Committee Membership:
     -Department of Psychology, Cleveland State University
          -Adult Development and Aging Program Committee (Fall, 2006 - present)
          -Psychological Science (formerly Experimental Research) Program Committee (Fall, 2006 - Summer 2022)
          -Undergraduate Program Committee (Fall, 2006 - Spring 2013)

     -College of Sciences and Health Professions, Cleveland State University
          -Ad hoc Scholarship Committee (Summer 2008 - 2020)
          -Peer Review Committee (July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2018)
          -Gerontology Certificate Advisory Committee (Fall, 2006)

      -University Service, Cleveland State University
          -University Honors Council (7/1/2016 - 6/30/2019)
          -Graduate Council (8/15/2016 - 8/20/2018)
Professional Service:
Ad hoc reviewer:
     -Brain and Language
     -Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
     -Journal of Memory and Language
     -Journal of Phonetics
     -Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
     -The Linguistic Review
     -Memory and Cognition
     -Perception and Psychophysics
     -Psychonomic Bulletin and Review
     -Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psycholgy
     -Proceedings of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences
     -Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics

and other journals

     -National Science Foundation   
          -Linguistics Program - Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award (2005)
          -Linguistics Program* - Research Grant (2006)
               *(Co-reviewed by the Perception, Action, and Cognition Program)

     -Acoustical Society of America
          -Best Student Poster in Speech Communication, Minneapolis, Minnesota (2005)
Research Grants:
National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Time course of variability in spoken word recognition, 07/01/05 to 06/01/08.  Direct costs: $150,000.00. Principal Investigator.

Cleveland State University, Provosts Initiative for the Involvement of Undergraduate Students in Research Activities, Representations and Processes Involved in the Perception of Spoken Language, Summer, 2007. Total Award: $2,305.00. Principal Investigator.

United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Auditory perception of drug names: Neighborhood effects, 10/01/07 to 09/30/08.  Total cost of subcontract: $12,831.00. Principal Investigator on the subcontract, and listed under key personnel on the main grant, which was awarded to the University of Illinois at Chicago (Principal Investigator: Bruce L. Lambert).

National Science Foundation: Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research: Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace, The game changer: A new model for password security, 09/01/13 - 08/31/15. (Extended until 08/31/16).  Total costs $201,615.00. Co-Principal Investigator.