Hello! I am a post doctoral researcher in the Gestalt ReVision group at KU Leuven, where I investigate phenomena of social perception in collaboration with Johan Wagemans. Several of my recent projects have focused 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, memory, and behavior. Over the course of this work, I have uncovered some surprising illusions that tell us a lot about the computations underlying these percepts. I also conduct research on meta-psychological questions, such as how to best study perceptual states. Prior to moving to Leuven I completed my graduate studies with Brian Scholl, director of the Yale Perception and Cognition Laboratory. In fall 2019 I will return to New York (where I grew up!) to begin working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the New School for Social Research.

Recent Projects

Who's Chasing Whom?

An illusion of chasing driven entirely by a moving background.

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Animacy & Memory

Animate stimuli are remembered differently!

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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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The "Blindfold Test"

Are our experiments really isolating visual processes?

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