Hello! I am a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, where I conduct research on phenomena of social perception. Several of my recent projects focus on perceived animacy.

Even simple geometric shapes look alive if they move in certain ways. These percepts have long fascinated psychologists, but they have often been implicitly treated as a mere curiosity, or epiphenomenon. In contrast, my research has shown that perceiving animacy has a host of adaptive downstream effects on attention, behavior, and memory. Over the course of this work, I have uncovered some interesting illusions that are helpful to understanding the computations underlying these percepts. I have also investigated new ways in which visual artworks can tell us about their creators, and more meta-psychological questions, such as how to best study perceptual states. I conduct this research with Brian Scholl, who directs the Yale Perception and Cognition Laboratory.

Recent Projects


Animacy & Action

Animate-looking shapes influence goal-directed behavior, even when they're completely task-irrelevant!

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The 'Units' of Perceived Animacy

The visual system makes important assumptions about what can and cannot be alive.

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Animacy & Memory

Animate stimuli are remembered differently!

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Who's Chasing Whom?

An illusion of chasing driven entirely by a moving background.

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The "Blindfold Test"

Are our experiments really isolating visual processes?

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