Psychophysics of Appearance Laboratory

What are the mechanisms that generate our rich and stable visual world from the highly ambiguous and ever-changing light pattern falling on the retina? How do complex interactions between local and global levels of processing, and their dependence on factors such as grouping and Gestalt, shape visual perception? Why do we experience the visual world the way we do?

In our lab, we investigate these and related questions, primarily in the realm of spatial vision. For example, to understand the role of perceptual organization and context in visual perception, we study crowding, masking, and visual search using a variety of psychophysical procedures. We extend traditional performance measures by directly quantifying perceptual experience using novel appearance-based methods, such as analyzing observer drawings of gaze-contingent peripheral stimuli.

Finally, we foster connections between scientific and artistic explorations of the visual world, demonstrating how vision science and art can mutually enrich each other.