Susilo Lab

Hi and welcome to Susilo Lab!

We’re a cognitive neuroscience research group in the School of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. Our ultimate goal is to understand how the brain makes the mind. To tackle this problem we focus on human face recognition and study how it works, how it develops across the lifespan, how it’s shaped by experience, and why it’s impaired in prosopagnosia or face blindness. In our research we use a mix of methods from psychology and neuroscience, including behavioural experiments, psychophysics, individual differences, eye tracking, electroencephalography (EEG), and brain stimulation (TMS).

We have two ongoing research programs. One program is a study of developmental prosopagnosia – a lifelong impairment of face recognition despite otherwise normal vision. We test large samples of participants to map out what exactly people with developmental prosopagnosia have troubles with (for example some prosopagnosics have problems only recognising faces, while others also show deficits with objects). We also examine what cognitive and brain processes are impaired, and how we might eventually be able to rehabilitate them. The other program is a study of split-second face processing, like when you gaze quickly to a face around you and identify its owner without much effort. We know little about face processing at this rapid timescale, so we hope to learn interesting insights about how to brain gives rise to this amazing skill that we use all the time without realising it.

If you want to know who we are, see people.

If you want to sample our research, browse papers.

If you’re curious about face blindness, read this blurb on prosopagnosia.

If you want to join our lab, please get in touch. We’d like to hear from motivated students at all levels. We’ve had a mix of people working in the lab including MSc students, CBNS placement students, SCIE306 students, summer scholars, research volunteers, and student interns.