I am currently in my final year as a PhD student, with a focus on high level vision. My primary interests are in the psychological and neural processing of unfamiliar and familiar faces and bodies. We encounter familiar and unfamiliar people in motion and in a variety of contexts and viewing conditions, and yet we are able to recognize people we know despite this large variability. Information from the face and body allow people to perform this task with high accuracy. With behavioral studies, I have examined how the quality of the information from the face and body in natural viewing conditions contributes to recognition. Using functional neuroimaging and pattern-based classification techniques, I have examined the neural correlates of recognition when we view people as we see them in the real world.
My secondary interests include comparing human face recognition and identity-matching performance to that of computer face recognition algorithms and professional face examiners. In addition to the face, I have contributed to projects involving body perception. Specifically, we examined how perceptual, language-based judgments about bodies are linked to the physical properties of body shape.
My current dissertation work examines the role of visual context on face learning and identification accuracy. I am investigating how the perceptual properties of faces in a learning set influences long-term mental representations of specific, newly-learned faces.