As we navigate through our daily lives, we are flooded with an abundance of visual information that our brains must effectively encode and successfully integrate in such a way that allows us to engage the visual environment with minimal error. Such processes are typically taken for granted since they are, for the most part, conducted outside of our conscious awareness.
Visual perception cannot be explained by a simple translation of the retinal image (i.e., the image of the world projected on the back of the eye). It involves a highly complex system composed of multiple analysis processes, whereby each process is devoted to integrating information from "earlier" and "later" processes. There currently exists a large body of research dedicated to better understanding these processes with highly controlled, un-naturalistic stimuli. While a great deal has been learned from such studies, there has recently been a concerted effort to study the processing stages involved in visual perception with naturalistic, real-world scene images as stimuli.
Research conducted in my lab is focused on how real-world (natural scene) visual information is encoded in the ventral processing stream of the human visual system and subsequently perceived by the human observer. Accordingly, the experiments conducted in my lab, as well as in collaboration with labs at other universities, cover a broad range of perceptual abilities ranging from simple size, orientation, or contrast judgments with natural scene images to more complex tasks involving motion-defined form and face discrimination/recognition.
Students in my lab (either as thesis students or undergraduate research assistants) will be exposed to a multitude of behavioral (i.e., psychophysical) techniques for studying human visual perception & cognition, all of which will be geared toward each student's level of education. Upon entering the lab, students will be immediately involved in ongoing projects (see "Interests" & "Selected Publications" sections below) and encouraged to eventually conceptualize, design and execute new projects in line with their own interests. Students interested in joining my lab should e-mail me at the address listed below. Please visit the lab website for more details: Visual Perception Lab