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Queen's University

Ron Weisman 

 Ron Weisman

Professor Emeritus


B.A., Michigan State University, 1960
M.A., Michigan State University, 1961
Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1964
Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of California, 1965-66


E: ronald.weisman(a)
T: 613.533.2487


406 Craine
Psychology Department
62 Arch Street
Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6


Research Interests
Birdsong is one of just six instances (experiments by evolution) in learned vocalization (human speech is another of this tiny list of natural experiments). I am an emeritus professor and no longer maintain an independent laboratory. However, I continue to collaborate with colleagues at Queen's and elsewhere in all manner of research about the evolution of auditory perception and its neural substrate. Three persistent themes in my work are the evolution of absolute pitch, relative pitch, and categorization of conspecifics communication.

All Time Favourite:

Weisman, R.G. (2008. Advice to young behavioral and cognitive scientists. Behavioural Processes, 77, 142-148

Recent Publications:

Weisman, R. G., Hoeschele, M., Mewhort, D., & Sturdy, C. B. (in press).  New Perpectives on Absolute Pitch in Birds and Mammals. In T. Zentall & E. Wasserman (Eds.), Handbook of Comparative Cognition. Oxford University Press, to be published in 2010.

Spetch, M.L. & Weisman, R.G. (in press). Birds' Perception of Depth and Objects in Pictures. In O. Lazareva, T. Shimizu, & E. Wasserman (Eds). How Animals See the World: Behavior, Biology, and Evolution of Vision, Oxford University Press, to be published in 2010.

Weisman, R. G. (2010). The Commentaries: Some are Visual Illusions. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 5, 155-162. Retrieved from doi:10.3819/ccbr.2010.50012

Weisman, R. G., Spetch, M. L. (2010). Determining When Birds Perceive Correspondence Between Pictures and Objects: A Critique. 
Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 5, 117-131. Retrieved from doi:10.3819/ccbr.2010.50006

Weisman, R. G., Balkwill, L. L., Hoeschele, M., Moscicki, M. K., Bloomfield, L. L., & Sturdy, C. B. (2010). Absolute pitch in boreal chickadees and humans: exceptions that test a phylogenetic rule. Learning and Motivation, doi:10.1016/j.lmot.2010.04.002

Weisman, R. G., Hoeschele, M. Bloomfield, L. L., Mewhort, D., Sturdy, C. B. (2010). Using network models of absolute pitch to compare frequency-range discriminations across avian species. Behavioural Processes, 84, 421-327

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000