John Morton was at the forefront of the information processing revolution of psychology in the 1960s, which moved experimental psychology out of behaviourism and into cognition. John is widely recognised as a pioneer of cognitive theories that explain and predict — rather than describe and correlate — behaviour. He provided an influential and lasting model of word recognition, the logogen model, which also served as inspiration for current models of face recognition.
His other lasting contributions range from the concept of precategorical acoustic storage (PAS) in short-term memory, the demonstration of so-called P-centres in spoken syllables as the critical psychological moment of speech perception, to groundbreaking work on cognitive development and, in particular, infant face recognition.
John has also designed a framework, causal modelling, within which to trace the simultaneous causal relationships among biological, environmental, behavioural and cognitive components of developmental disorders. This has been applied to disorders as varied as autism and conduct disorder. His current work focuses on dissociative identity disorder, viewed from the perspective of cognitive science.