Meet the Professors

Monday, May 20, 2024, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, Banyan Breezeway

Students and postdocs are invited to the 9th annual “Meet the Professors” event. This year’s event will follow a similar format to last year’s. There will be up to five, short, 15-minute meetings in small groups. Chat about science, VSS, career issues, work/life balance, or whatever comes up. Or just connect with a new VSS colleague.

Space will be limited and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Each student/postdoc will meet with five professors.

Members of the VSS Board are indicated with an asterisk* in case you have a specific interest in talking to a member of the board.

Professors and VSS Board Members

David Alais (Professor, University of Sydney, Australia) studies multisensory perception as well as bistable perception and awareness using behavioral methods.

David Brainard (Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania) studies color vision, using psychophysical, physiological, and computational methods. He also has interests in physiological optics, retinal processing, and the role of melanopsin-mediated signals in visual processing.

Johannes Burge (Associate Professor of Psychology, Univ. of Pennsylvania) studies vision with natural images, focusing i) on tasks in optics, depth, motion perception, and ii) on how sensory, perceptual, and motor processing unfolds over time. He uses perceptual phenomena like illusions, and an array of tools—forced-choice and continuous psychophysics, image-computable ideal observers, and other modeling techniques—to understand how human vision works and how artificial vision systems should be designed to work. He interned at Adobe Inc. but didn’t like it much.

Marisa Carrasco (Julius Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, NYU) investigates several aspects of visual perception and attention using human psychophysics, neuroimaging, neurostimulation, and computational modeling to study the relation between the psychological and neural mechanisms involved in these processes.

Miguel Eckstein (Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, UC, Santa Barbara) studies attention, search, eye movements, learning, face and medical image perception using psychophysics, computational modeling, and EEG/fMRI techniques. He worked at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and NASA Ames before joining UC Santa Barbara. Messi fanatic.

James Elder (Professor and York Research Chair in Human and Computer Vision and Co-Director of the Centre for AI & Society at York University, Canada). His research seeks to improve machine vision systems through a better understanding of visual processing in biological systems. He has worked at Nortel and NEC Research.

Karla Evans (Senior Lecturer, Psychology, University of York, UK) main interest lies in understanding how perceptual information within and across senses and memory gets integrated into a unified complex percept of the world and is applied to real world tasks such as cancer detection. To study these processes, she uses a variety of techniques from psychophysics, neuroimaging to machine learning.

Krystel Huxlin* (Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester) investigates visual system plasticity with an eye towards restorative potential in adult brains with cortical damage. This is done in both humans and animal models, with approaches including psychophysics, neuroimaging, neurostimulation, cell biology, quantitative microscopy and molecular techniques.

Janneke Jehee (Principal Investigator, Donders Institute, Netherlands) studies perceptual decision-making under uncertainty using a range of techniques, including neuroimaging, computational modeling, and psychophysics. She is also involved in the development of new methods for analyzing behavioral and neuroimaging data.

Kendrick Kay (Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of Minnesota)’s research interests lie at the intersection of visual/cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging methods, and computational neuroscience. His lab combines expertise across different disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, neuroimaging, statistics, machine learning, and software engineering.

Talia Konkle (Professor of Psychology, Harvard University) studies high-level visual representation and cortical organization, combining modern deep neural network models with functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral methods.

Rich Krauzlis* (Senior Investigator, National Eye Institute, NIH) studies the brain circuits for eye movements and higher-order visual functions (e.g., attention, perception, and object recognition) using psychophysics in humans and combinations of physiological, optogenetic, and psychophysical methods in animal models. He is especially interested in how higher-order visual functions are linked to goal-directed behavior, and how the properties of brain circuits change as we explore and learn about our visual world.

Michael Landy* (Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, NYU) has studied a wide range of topics, including depth perception, sensory cue integration, spatial vision including texture perception, perceptual decision-making, Bayesian models of all of the above, cortical adaptation and metacognition for both perceptual and motor tasks.

Cheryl Olman (Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota) uses a mixture of behavior, computational models, and functional MRI to study how our brains creates our visual experiences. After 20 years, she’s still stuck on the problem of how visual representations of textures get suppressed when they’re embedded in complex environments. The problem is more interesting than one might think, and fMRI is less informative on this topic than one might hope.

Mary A. Peterson (Professor of Psychology, University of Arizona) uses behavioral and physiological methods to study foreground object detection; in particular influences of memory and context; and semantic activation, competition, and recurrent processing during object detection.

Martina Poletti (Assistant Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester) investigates the interplay of action, attention and eye movements, vision across the foveola, fine tuning of attention and eye movements at the foveal scale and the relationship between fine oculomotor behavior, retinal anatomy and visual acuity, using high-precision eyetracking, high-resolution retinal imaging, psychophysics, gaze contingent display control and EEG.

Martin Rolfs* (Professor for Experimental Psychology, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) investigates the architecture and plasticity of processes in active perception and cognition, using a broad range of methods including eye and motion tracking, psychophysics, computational modeling, EEG, studies of clinical populations, and robotics.

Pawan Sinha (Professor of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, MIT) studies visual neuroscience, combining experimentation and computational modeling. He majored in computer science in India and then came to the US planning to specialize in high-performance processor design. But, due partly to his interest in visual art, he soon changed his research focus to visual neuroscience. His lab is exploring the development of visual skills in typically developing children, as well as those who have gained sight after suffering several years of congenital visual deprivation. This effort, named Project Prakash, allows the lab to simultaneously pursue the twin goals of scientific discovery as well as societal service.

Miriam Spering (Associate Professor of Neuroscience, University of British Columbia) investigates how humans interact with their sensory environment through eye and hand movements using human psychophysics, eye tracking and motion capture in healthy adults and patients with movement disorders. She is passionate about supporting students and postdocs and enabling them to identify careers that best suit their interests and values.

Viola Störmer (Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth University) investigates selective attention, visual working memory, and cross-modal perception using a combination of behavioral methods, EEG, and computational modeling.

Bill Warren (Chancellor’s Professor of Cognitive Science, Brown University) uses virtual reality techniques to investigate the visual control of action, including optic flow, locomotion, collective behavior, and visual navigation. He has had an academic career and collaborated with movement scientists on visual-motor coordination, with biologists on insect flight control, with computer scientists on crowd dynamics, and with safety researchers on emergency evacuation.

Takeo Watanabe (Fred M. Seed Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences at Brown University) takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying vision using psychophysics, fMRI, and computational neural modeling. Research areas include motion perception, interaction of motion and form, attention and perceptual learning.

Yaoda Xu (Senior Research Scientist, Department of Psychology, Yale University) studies the cognitive and neural mechanisms supporting visual working memory, attention, and visual object processing in the human brain with a particular focus on the posterior parietal cortex using methods including fMRI, psychophysics and computational modeling.


Registration for Meet the Professors is now closed. We will contact you in the next few weeks to let you know if you have received a slot.