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Michael Charles Corballis ONZM (born 10 September 1936) is a psychologist and author. He is emeritus professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His fields of research are cognitive neuroscience, including visual perception, visual imagery, attention, memory and the evolution of language.
Michael Corballis is the son of Philip Patrick Joseph Corballis and Alice Elizabeth Harris. He was born in Marton, New Zealand in 1936. In 1962, he married Barbara Elizabeth Wheeler. They have two sons, Paul Michael Corballis, born in 1968, and Timothy Daniel Grey Corballis, born in 1971. Paul has a daughter, Simone Nicole, born in 2009, and Timothy has twin girls, Natasha and Lena, also born 2009.
Education and career
Corballis was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School and earned a Master's degree in Mathematics at the University of New Zealand in 1959 and attained a Master of Arts in psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1962. He then moved to McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he gained a PhD in psychology in 1965, and taught in the Department of Psychology from 1968 to 1978. During his years as a professor at McGill, the main focus of his research was in cognitive neuroscience, analyzing complex cognitive systems such as perception, attention and memory, and initiating a research program on cerebral asymmetry. He was appointed professor of psychology at the University of Auckland in 1978. In recent years, the interests of Corballis have turned to evolutionary biology, contributing significantly to complex cognitive processes. Of great international importance was his hypothesis that human language evolved from gestures, expressed in the book "From hand to mouth". His work is widely quoted.
- Psychology of Left and Right with Ivan L. Beale, John Wiley & Sons (1976)
- The Ambivalent Mind: The Neuropsychology of Left and Right with Ivan L. Beale. Chicago: Nelson-Hall (1983)
- Human Laterality, Academic Press (1984)
- The Lopsided Ape: Evolution of the Generative Mind, Oxford University Press, USA (1991)
- From Hand to Mouth: The Origins of Language, University Press Group (2003)
- The Recursive Mind, Princeton University Press (2011)
- A Very Short Tour of the Mind, The Overlook Press, USA (2013)
- The Wandering Mind: What the Brain Does When You're Not Looking, Auckland University Press (2014)
- The Truth about Language: What It Is and Where It Came From, University of Chicago Press (2017)
Selected journal papers
- Corballis, M. C. 2009. "The evolution and genetics of cerebral asymmetry". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences, 364, 867–879. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0232
- Lewald, J., Peters, S., Corballis, M. C., & Hausmann, M. (2009). "Perception of stationary and moving sound following cortectomy". Neuropsychologia, 47, 962–971. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.10.016
- Milivojevic, B., Hamm, J. P., & Corballis, M. C. (2009). "Functional neuroanatomy of mental rotation". Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 945–959. doi:10.1162/jocn.2009.21085
- Corballis, M. C. (2009). "The evolution of language". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1156, 19–43. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04423.x
- Suddendorf, T., Addis, D. R., & Corballis, M. C. (2009). "Mental time travel and the shaping of the human mind". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences, 364, 1317–1324. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0301