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 study 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, memory, and goal-directed behavior. I am also interested in 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.

Projects


The 'Units' of Perceived Animacy

The visual system makes some critical "assumptions" about what can and cannot be alive!

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The Automaticity of Perceiving Animacy

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

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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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