Hello! I am a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at Yale University, where I conduct research on the perceptual roots of social cognition. I investigate a variety of phenomena of social perception, with a special 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. My more recent work addresses 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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