Vision and Cognition Lab

Who are we? 

We’re a research group in the School of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. We want to understand how the brain transforms sensory input into perceptual and cognitive experience. To tackle this problem we use human vision as a model, with a special focus on face processing. Our research combines methods from vision science, psychology, and neuroscience, including behavioural experiments, psychophysics, patient studies, eye tracking, EEG, fMRI, and modelling.

Why face processing?

Face processing is an essential aspect of life. Much of our perceptual experience involves seeing and recognising faces, and much of our behaviour depends on all kinds of social information provided by faces – including identity, emotion, demographics, state of mind, direction of attention, group membership, and traits/dispositions. Deficits of face processing in prosopagnosia (face blindness) and autism can have debilitating effects on work and  life. All this makes face processing a rich domain for characterising a complex set of brain mechanisms at multiple levels of description, from lower-level vision to higher-level cognition. Face processing also attracts scientists and clinicians from many disciplines including vision science, psychology, neuroscience, neurology, and computer science, making it an ideal area for conducting interdisciplinary work.

Want to know more?

Our current team consists of these people. Browse current studies to see what we’re up to. Check out our publications. Read prosopagnosia to know more about face blindness. And if you’re a student interested in our lab, please get in touch. We’re always happy to hear from motivated students at all levels. Our lab consists of postgraduate and undergraduate students in many capacities (PhD, MSc, honours, SCIE306, summer scholar, internship, volunteer, and research assistant).