Our laboratory studies how people visually categorize, identify, and recognize objects. We examine how objects are processed and represented by the visual system, how visual knowledge about objects is represented and learned, and how perceptual decisions about objects are made. We are particularly interested in the temporal dynamics of visual object recognition. That includes the short-term dynamics of an individual decision about an object’s category or identity and the long-term dynamics of how those decisions change with learning and perceptual expertise. We approaches these questions using a combination of behavioral experiments, cognitive neuroscience techniques, and computational and neural modeling.
Open Positions in the CatLab:
- Postdoctoral Fellowship on Object Categorization and Perceptual Expertise
- Postdoctoral Fellowship on Cognitive and Neural Modeling of Perceptual Decision Making
- Graduate Student Fellowships and Research Assistantships
Our research is and has been generously funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, as well as Vanderbilt Discovery, VIO, and IDEAS grants.
Recent Lab News
New work from the CatLabOctober 24, 2013
Palmeri, T.J. (in press). An exemplar of model-based cognitive neuroscience. Trends in Cognitive Science. [PDF]
Richler, J.J., & Palmeri, T.J. (in press). Visual category learning. To appear in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews in Cognitive Science. [PDF]
Upcoming Conference Presentations
Palmeri, T.J. (2013). Neurocognitive modeling of perceptual decision making. To be presented at Interfacing Models with Brain Signals to Investigate Cognition, UC Irvine, CA.
Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2013). The effects of varying configuration in the composite task support an attentional account of holistic processing. To be presented at Object Perception and Memory (OPAM), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Middlebrooks, P.G., Schall, J.D., Palmeri, T.J., & Logan, G.D. (2013). Modeling response time and accuracy of perceptual choice during a stop-signal task. To be presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, San Diego, CA.
Zandbelt, B.B., Schall, J.D., Palmeri, T.J., & Logan, G.D. (2013). Modeling response time and accuracy during a stop-signal task: Stimulus-response choice. To be presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting, San Diego, CA.
New NSF GrantJune 3, 2013
The National Science Foundation has officially awarded our lab a new grant entitled “Perceptual Categorization in Real-World Expertise”. Now the work begins.
Congratulations to Alan WongMay 22, 2013
Congrats to former CatLab graduate student Alan Wong, who just earned tenure at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Well deserved!
Braden Purcell wins the Pat Burns Memorial Graduate Student Research AwardApril 24, 2013
Congratulations to Braden Purcell for winning the The Pat Burns Memorial Graduate Student Research Award.
Pat Burns touched generations of doctoral students during her nearly four decades of service to Vanderbilt University. In memory of her tireless efforts to help guide our students through all phases of their graduate education, the Department of Psychology establishes a Graduate Student Research Award to recognize outstanding achievement in research by our most outstanding graduate students. The recipient receives a plaque and a $500 award.
Along with Michael Mack and Jennifer Richler, this makes the third CatLab member to win this prestigious award.
Jonathan Folstein accepts faculty position at Florida State UniversityApril 9, 2013
Jonathan Folstein, a recent postdoctoral fellow in the CatLab and OPL, has accepted a faculty position in psychology at Florida State University. Congratulations Dr. Folstein!
Congratulations Dr. PurcellMarch 15, 2013
Congratulations to Akash UmakanthaMarch 13, 2013
Congratulations to Akash Umakantha for his acceptance into the Cold Spring Harbor Undergraduate Research Program. Akash is an undergraduate in biomedical engineering and neuroscience who is working on a research project with Braden Purcell and Thomas Palmeri.
Recent papersJanuary 9, 2013
Ross, D.A., Deroche, M., & Palmeri, T.J. (accepted, pending final revisions). Not just the norm: Exemplar-based models also predict face aftereffects. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (in press). Meanings, mechanisms, and measures of holistic processing. Frontiers in Perception Science.
Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (in press). How does using object names influence visual recognition memory? Journal of Memory and Language.
Braden Purcell accepted to CSHL summer courseApril 25, 2012
Braden Purcell has been accepted to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory summer course in Computational Neuroscience: Vision. This is a highly competitive program. Congratulations to Braden on this outstanding accomplishment.
New faces joining the labApril 5, 2012
Jianhong Chen is joining the lab this fall as a new graduate student in Psychological Sciences. Jianhong is getting her undergraduate degree from Peking University, one of the top three universities in China, where she worked with professor Fang Fang. Her research at PKU focused on adaptation, perceptual learning and EEG. For her graduate study, she is interested in perceptual expertise.
We also have two undergraduates working in the laboratory this summer on research fellowships. Billy Bunce will work with Jenn Richler and Mike Mack on a project modeling perceptual expertise. Akash Umakantha will work with Braden Purcell on neural models of perceptual decision making.