Lab Research Projects

Research in our laboratory spans several topics in cognitive science, with a primary focus in recent work on visual cognition. Much of our work involves computer-based psychophysical experiments with human adults. In collaboration with several other laboratories, we are also exploring several of the topics below in computational models, human infants, nonhuman primates, brain-damaged patients, and people with various clinical disorders. Below are descriptions of a few specific topics in this area that we are currently exploring -- all of which, in one way or another, involve questions about how seeing relates to (and provides a foundation for) thinking.

Note that online PDF copies of the papers listed below are available via the 'Papers' tab in the banner above.  

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Visual Awareness  

A central interest of our laboratory in recent years has been the nature of visual awareness. How and when is it produced? What factors determine whether we will become conscious of a visual stimulus? And what sorts of visual processing can and cannot occur without awareness? We address such questions in part by employing several startling phenomena in which we lose conscious awareness of various aspects of visual scenes. In sustained inattentional blindness, observers fail to perceive unexpected objects in visual scenes even though the 'missed' objects are in full view for several seconds, are in motion, and have features that differ from all other items in the display. In motion-induced blindness, salient (and even attended) objects fluctuate into and out of conscious awareness repeatedly when superimposed onto certain global motion patterns. We have been exploring these phenomena and others, and we have developed a perceptual cycle account of sustained inattentional blindness, and the perceptual scotoma theory of motion-induced blindness. Such phenomena allow us to explore the roles of attention and 'unconscious inferences' as gateways to conscious perception.
Representative Papers

Choi, H., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Incidental change blindness in an extremely simple event.

New, J. J., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). Motion-induced blindness for dynamic targets: Further explorations of the 'perceptual scotoma' hypothesis. Journal of Vision, 18(9):24, 1-13.

Ward, E. J., Bear, A., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). Can you perceive ensembles without perceiving individuals?: The role of statistical perception in determining whether awareness overflows access. Cognition, 152, 78-86.

Ward, E. J., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). Inattentional blindness reflects limitations on perception, not memory: Evidence from repeated failures of awareness. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22(3), 722-727.

Ward, E. J., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). Stochastic or systematic?: Seemingly random perceptual switching in bistable events triggered by transient unconscious cues. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 41(4), 929-939.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2014). 'Please tap the shape, anywhere you like': Shape skeletons in human vision revealed by an exceedingly simple measure. Psychological Science, 25(2), 377-386.

New, J. J., & Scholl, B. J. (2008). 'Perceptual scotomas': A functional account of motion-induced blindness. Psychological Science, 19(7), 653-659.

Most, S. B., Scholl, B. J., Clifford, E., & Simons, D. J. (2005). What you see is what you set: Sustained inattentional blindness and the capture of awareness. Psychological Review, 112(1), 217-242.

Mitroff, S. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2005). Forming and updating object representations without awareness: Evidence from motion-induced blindness. Vision Research, 45(8), 961-967.

Scholl, B. J., Simons, D. J., & Levin, D. T. (2004). 'Change blindness' blindness: An implicit measure of a metacognitive error. In D. T. Levin (Ed.), Thinking and seeing: Visual metacognition in adults and children (pp. 145-164). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Mitroff, S. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2004). Perceiving the disappearance of unseen objects. Perception, 33(10), 1267-1273.

Most, S. B., Simons, D. J., Scholl, B. J., Jiminez, R., Clifford, E., & Chabris, C. F. (2001). How not to be seen: The contribution of similarity and selective ignoring to sustained inattentional blindness. Psychological Science, 12(1), 9-17.

Most, S. B., Simons, D. J., Scholl, B. J., & Chabris, C. F. (2000). Sustained inattentional blindness: The role of location in the detection of unexpected dynamic events. Psyche, 6(14).

How Seeing Relates to Thinking  

How does perception relate to cognition? In a way, nearly all of the research in our lab has explored this question -- for example as we investigate the visual processing of properties (such as causality, agency, or physics) that we typically associate with higher-level thinking. The conclusion that we draw from this research can be summarized as: vision is smart. But another hallowed question is whether higher-level cognitive states (such as knowledge, desires, and intentions) can directly influence visual processing and help to determine what we see. If so, then there are 'top-down effects' of cognition on perception, and perception is 'cognitively penetrable'. We have been exploring several modern incarnations of this question, and the conclusion that we draw from this research is that there are in fact no such effects: vision is vision, not just another type of cognition. Seeing is a distinct encapsulated process in the mind compared to the rest of cognition. And this has powerful implications for many other foundational questions, such as the degree to which perception accurately represents the external world.
Representative Papers

van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). The 'Blindfold Test': Helping to decide whether an effect reflects visual processing or higher-level judgment.

Scholl, B. J. (in press). Perceptual (roots of) core knowledge [Commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Berke, M. D., Walter-Terrill, R., Jara-Ettinger, J., & Scholl, B. J. (2022). Flexible goals require that inflexible perceptual systems produce veridical representations: Implications for realism as revealed by evolutionary simulations. Cognitive Science, 46(10), e13195, 1-21.

van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). Visual illusions as a tool for dissociating seeing from thinking: A reply to Braddick (2018). Perception, 47(10-11), 999-1001.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2017). Seeing and thinking in studies of embodied "perception": How (not) to integrate vision science and social psychology. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(2), 341-343.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). Cognition does not affect perception: Evaluating the evidence for 'top-down' effects [target article]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, e229, 1-77.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). Seeing and thinking: Foundational issues and empirical horizons [response to commentators]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, e229, 53-67.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). 'Moral perception' reflects neither morality nor perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(2), 75-76.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). Enhanced visual awareness for morality and pajamas?: Perception vs. memory in 'top-down' effects. Cognition, 136, 409-416.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). Can you experience 'top-down' effects on perception?: The case of race categories and perceived lightness. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22(3), 694-700.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). When do ratings implicate perception vs. judgment?: The 'overgeneralization test' for top-down effects. Visual Cognition, 23(9-10), 1217-1226.

Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2014). 'Top-down' effects where none should be found: The El Greco fallacy in perception research. Psychological Science, 25(1), 38-46

Perceiving Causality and Agency  

We typically think of properties such as causality, agency, and goal-directedness in terms of higher-level thought, but we have been exploring how such properties are extracted even during relatively low-level visual processing. In particular, we have been exploring how dynamic displays consisting only of simple geometric shapes nevertheless give rise to rich percepts involving causation and agency. These effects emphasize that perception concerns not only a recovery of the physical structure of the world, but also a recovery of its causal and social structure. Our latest projects in the perception of causality focus on how even static objects may be visually represented according to their inferred causal histories. Our latest projects in the perception of animacy focus on the "psychophysics of chasing" and phenomena such as the "wolfpack effect", and on how perceiving animacy irresistibly influences various other types of cognition. And we have also been exploring how various effects that were previously attributed to eye-contact may actually represent a broader phenomenon (of "mind contact") in which we can perceive others' attention and intentions.
Representative Papers

Erdogan, M., Troje, N. F., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). The psychophysical limits of agency: Biological motion percepts disappear in slow-moving displays.

Castiello, S., Ongchoco, J. D. K., van Buren, B., Scholl, B. J., & Corlett, P. R. (under review). Paranoid and teleological thinking give rise to distinct social hallucinations in vision.

Colombatto, C., Chen, Y. -C., van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Foundations of social perception: Eye contact or 'mind contact'?

van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Who's chasing whom?: Changing background motion reverses impressions of chasing in perceived animacy.

Gao, T., New, J. J., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Attention to intention: The perceived goals of moving shapes control how they are attended.

Colombatto, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2022). Unconscious pupillometry: An effect of 'attentional contagion' in the absence of visual awareness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151(2), 302-308.

Colombatto, C., van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (2021). Hidden intentions: Visual awareness prioritizes perceived attention even without eyes or faces. Cognition, 217, Article 104901, 1-7.

Colombatto, C., Chen, Y. -C., & Scholl, B. J. (2020). 'Gaze deflection' reveals how gaze cueing is tuned to extract the mind behind the eyes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(33), 19825-19829.

Kominsky, J. F., & Scholl, B. J. (2020). Retinotopic adaptation reveals distinct categories of causal perception. Cognition, 203, Article 104339, 1-21.

Colombatto, C., van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (2020). Gazing without eyes: A 'stare-in-the-crowd' effect induced by simple geometric shapes. Perception, 49(7), 782-792.

Colombatto, C., van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (2019). Intentionally distracting: Working memory is disrupted by the perception of other agents attending to you -- even without eye-gaze cues. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 26, 951-957.

van Buren, B., & Scholl, B. J. (2017). Minds in motion in memory: Enhanced spatial memory driven by the perceived animacy of simple shapes. Cognition, 163, 87-92.

van Buren, B., Gao, T., & Scholl, B. J. (2017). What are the underlying units of perceived animacy?: Chasing detection is intrinsically object-based. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 24(5), 1604-1610.

Chen, Y. -C., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). The perception of history: Seeing causal history in static shapes induces illusory motion perception. Psychological Science, 27(6), 923-930.

van Buren, B., Uddenberg, S., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). The automaticity of perceiving animacy: Goal-directed motion in simple shapes influences visuomotor behavior even when task-irrelevant. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 797-802.

Scholl, B. J., & Gao, T. (2013). Perceiving animacy and intentionality: Visual processing or higher-level judgment? In M. D. Rutherford & V. A. Kuhlmeier (Eds.), Social perception: Detection and interpretation of animacy, agency, and intention (pp. 197-230). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gao, T., Scholl, B. J., & McCarthy, G. (2012). Dissociating the detection of intentionality from animacy in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(41), 14276-14280.

Gao, T., & Scholl, B. J. (2011). Chasing vs. stalking: Interrupting the perception of animacy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 37(3), 669-684.

Gao, T., McCarthy, G., & Scholl, B. J. (2010). The wolfpack effect: Perception of animacy irresistibly influences interactive behavior. Psychological Science, 21(12), 1845-1853.

Gao, T., Newman, G. E., & Scholl, B. J. (2009). The psychophysics of chasing: A case study in the perception of animacy. Cognitive Psychology, 59(2), 154-179.

Newman, G. E., Choi, H., Wynn, K., & Scholl, B. J. (2008). The origins of causal perception: Evidence from postdictive processing in infancy. Cognitive Psychology, 57(3), 262-291.

Choi, H., & Scholl, B. J. (2006). Perceiving causality after the fact: Postdiction in the temporal dynamics of causal perception. Perception, 35(3), 385-399.

Wagemans, J., Van Lier, R., & Scholl, B. J. (2006). Introduction to Michotte's heritage in perception and cognition research. Acta Psychologica, 123(1-2), 1-19.

Choi, H., & Scholl, B. J. (2006). Measuring causal perception: Links to representational momentum? Acta Psychologica, 123(1-2), 91-111.

Scholl, B. J., & Nakayama, K. (2004). Illusory causal crescents: Misperceived spatial relations due to perceived causality. Perception, 33(4), 455-469.

Choi, H., & Scholl, B. J. (2004). Effects of grouping and attention on the perception of causality. Perception & Psychophysics, 66(6), 926-942.

Scholl, B. J., & Nakayama, K. (2002). Causal capture: Contextual effects on the perception of collision events. Psychological Science, 13(6), 493-498.

Scholl, B. J., & Tremoulet, P. (2000). Perceptual causality and animacy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(8), 299-309.

Perceiving Objects (in Space) and Events (in Time)  

The retinal input to visual processing is intrinsically continuous in both space and time, whereas our mental representations of scenes are composed of discrete objects and events. A major challenge of visual perception is to parse the world in this way, starting with a confusion of features and ending up with a structured array of individuals. We have been exploring this process, focusing in particular on demonstrating how visual attention interacts in rich and interesting ways with the underlying spatial and temporal structure of visual scenes. Attention is often allocated not only to spatial regions of the visual field, but to discrete visual objects -- and to particular events in time. Whereas vision scientists have traditionally studied the recognition of specific objects, we are using computer-based experiments to determine what can count as an attended object and event in the first place, and thus to determine the nature of the fundamental units over which visual attention can operate. Our recent research has shown how object-based effects can be independently strengthened or weakened by multiple types of visual structure (including structure in other dimensions such as time, and in other modalities such as audition), and has begun to illustrate how the 'objects' of object-based attention are formed from simpler visual features. This work has led to several recent discoveries, such as the phenomena of scaffolded attention and attentional rhythm, the existence of event type representations, and the one-is-more illusion. This research is closely connected to issues in many other areas of cognitive science. As one example of this, we have suggested that the study of the infant's 'object concept' and the study of mid-level object-based visual processing in adults may have much more to do with each other than has been previously suspected.
Representative Papers

Belledonne, M., Butkus, E., Scholl, B. J., & Yildirim, I. (under review). Adaptive computation as a new mechanism of dynamic human attention.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). The hierarchy of experience: Memory is differentially disrupted by global vs. local event boundaries.

Bi, W., Shah, A. D., Wong, K. W., Scholl, B. J., & Yildirim, I. (under review). Computational models reveal that intuitive physics underlies visual processing of soft objects.

Ji, H., & Scholl, B. J. (in press). 'Visual verbs': Dynamic event types are extracted spontaneously during visual perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., Walter-Terrill, R., & Scholl, B. J. (2023). Visual event boundaries restrict anchoring effects in decision making. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120(44), e2303883120, 1-6.

Wong, K. W., Bi, W., Soltani, A., Yildirim, I., & Scholl, B. J. (2023). Seeing soft materials draped over objects: A case study of intuitive physics in perception, attention, and memory. Psychological Science, 34(1), 111-119.

Wang, V., Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2023). Here it comes: Active forgetting triggered even just by anticipation of an impending event boundary. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 30(5), 1917-1927.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2023). Figments of imagination: 'Scaffolded attention' creates nonsensory object and event representations. In A. Mroczko-Wasowicz & R. Grush (Eds.), Sensory Individuals: Contemporary Perspectives on Modality-specific and Multimodal Perceptual Objects (pp. 95-112). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2022). Hallucinating visual structure: Individual differences in 'scaffolded attention'. Cognition, 225, Article 105129, 1-9.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2022). Scaffolded attention in time: 'Everyday hallucinations' of rhythmic patterns from regular auditory beats. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 84(2), 332-340.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2020). Enumeration in time is irresistibly event-based. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 27, 307-314.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2019). How to create objects with your mind: From object-based attention to attention-based objects. Psychological Science, 30(11), 1648-1655.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (2019). Did that just happen? Event segmentation influences enumeration and working memory for simple overlapping visual events. Cognition, 187, 188-197.

Yousif, S. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2019). The one-is-more illusion: Sets of discrete objects appear less extended than equivalent continuous entities in both space and time. Cognition, 185, 121-130.

Strickland, B., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). Visual perception involves 'event type' representations: The case of containment vs. occlusion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(3), 570-580.

De Freitas, J., Liverence, B. M., & Scholl, B. J. (2014). Attentional rhythm: A temporal analogue of object-based attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(1), 71-76.

Liverence, B. M., & Scholl, B. J. (2011). Selective attention warps spatial representation: Parallel but opposing effects on attended versus inhibited objects. Psychological Science, 22(12), 1600-1608.

Scholl, B. J. (2009). What have we learned about attention from multiple object tracking (and vice versa)? In D. Dedrick & L. Trick (Eds.), Computation, cognition, and Pylyshyn (pp. 49-78). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Doran, M. M., Hoffman, J. E., & Scholl, B. J. (2009). The role of eye fixations in concentration and amplification effects during multiple object tracking. Visual Cognition, 17(4), 574-597.

Ben-Shahar, O., Scholl, B. J., & Zucker, S. W. (2007). Attention, segregation, and textons: Bridging the gap between object-based attention and texton-based segregation. Vision Research, 47(6), 845-860.

Cheries, E. W., Newman, G. E., Santos, L. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2006). Units of visual individuation in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Objects or unbound visual features? Perception, 35(8), 1057-1071.

Alvarez, G. A., & Scholl, B. J. (2005). How does attention select and track spatially extended objects?: New effects of attentional concentration and amplification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134(4), 461-476.

Marino, A. C., & Scholl, B. J. (2005). The role of closure in defining the 'objects' of object-based attention. Perception & Psychophysics, 67(7), 1140-1149.

vanMarle, K., & Scholl, B. J. (2003). Attentive tracking of objects vs. substances. Psychological Science, 14(5), 498-504.

Scholl, B. J. (2001). Objects and attention: The state of the art. Cognition, 80(1-2), 1-46.

Scholl, B. J., Pylyshyn, Z. W., & Feldman, J. (2001). What is a visual object? Evidence from target merging in multiple object tracking. Cognition, 80(1-2), 159-177.

Scholl, B. J., & Leslie, A. M. (1999). Explaining the infant's object concept: Beyond the perception/cognition dichotomy. In E. Lepore & Z. Pylyshyn (Eds.), What is cognitive science? (pp. 26-73). Oxford: Blackwell.

Object Persistence  

A central lesson of cognitive science is that we typically take for granted some of our most important underlying cognitive processes. One example of this, we maintain, is the mental computation of object persistence -- the automatic representation of parts of visual scenes as the same enduring individual objects over time, motion, occlusion, and featural change. Without the ability to compute object persistence, visual experience would be incoherent -- yet such processing has received surprisingly little study in recent decades. As such, a major research thrust in our lab has been the attempt to determine the nature of such processing. In particular, we are exploring (1) the dynamic visual properties which cause a part of the visual field to be treated as the same object over time, and (2) the related principles which help solve correspondence problems -- 'which went where?' -- in complex dynamic scenes. This research project has involved many different experimental paradigms, including multiple object tracking, object reviewing, change detection, the tunnel effect, and bouncing/streaming displays. Theoretically, we've developed an account of object persistence that encompasses the nature of such processing in adults, infants, and nonhuman primates, and we've argued that this body of research can provide important constraints on classic philosophical theories of persistence. This work continues in our laboratory as an ongoing 'case study' in cognitive science.
Representative Papers

Meyerhoff, H. S., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). Auditory-induced bouncing is a perceptual (rather than a cognitive) phenomenon: Evidence from illusory crescents. Cognition, 170, 88-94.

Liverence, B. M., & Scholl, B. J. (2015). Object persistence enhances spatial navigation: A case study in smartphone vision science. Psychological Science, 26(7), 955-963.

Franconeri, S. L., Pylyshyn, Z. W., & Scholl, B. J. (2012). A simple proximity heuristic allows tracking of multiple objects through occlusion. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74(4), 691-702.

Scholl, B. J., & Flombaum, J. I. (2010). Object persistence. In B. Goldstein (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Perception, Volume 2 (pp. 653-657). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Gao, T., & Scholl, B. J. (2010). Are objects required for object files?: Roles of segmentation and spatiotemporal continuity in computing object persistence. Visual Cognition, 18(1), 82-109

Cheries, E. W., Mitroff, S. R., Wynn, K., & Scholl, B. J. (2009). Do the same principles constrain persisting object representations in infant cognition and adult perception?: The cases of continuity and cohesion. In B. Hood & L. Santos (Eds.), The Origins of Object Knowledge (pp. 107-134). Oxford University Press.

Flombaum, J. I., Scholl, B. J., & Santos, L. R. (2009). Spatiotemporal priority as a fundamental principle of object persistence. In B. Hood & L. Santos (Eds.), The Origins of Object Knowledge (pp. 135-164). Oxford University Press.

Yi, D-J., Turk-Browne, N. B., Flombaum, J. I., Kim, M., Scholl, B. J., & Chun, M. M. (2008). Spatiotemporal object continuity in human ventral visual cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(26), 8840-8845.

Flombaum, J. I., Scholl, B. J., & Pylyshyn, Z. W. (2008). Attentional resources in tracking through occlusion: The high-beams effect. Cognition, 107(3), 904-931.

Cheries, E. W., Mitroff, S. R., Wynn, K., & Scholl, B. J. (2008). Cohesion as a principle of object persistence in infancy. Developmental Science, 11(3), 427-432.

Scholl, B. J. (2007). Object persistence in philosophy and psychology. Mind & Language, 22(5), 563-591.

Flombaum, J. I., & Scholl, B. J. (2006). A temporal same-object advantage in the tunnel effect: Facilitated change detection for persisting objects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 32(4), 840-853.

Cheries, E. W., Wynn, K., & Scholl, B. J. (2006). Interrupting infants' persisting object representations: An object-based limit? Developmental Science, 9(5), F50-F58.

Mitroff, S. R., Scholl, B. J., & Wynn, K. (2005). The relationship between object files and conscious perception. Cognition, 96(1), 67-92.

Noles, N. S., Scholl, B. J., & Mitroff, S. R. (2005). The persistence of object file representations. Perception & Psychophysics, 67(2), 324-334.

Flombaum, J. I., Kundey, S. M., Santos, L. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2004). Dynamic object individuation in rhesus macaques: A study of the tunnel effect. Psychological Science, 15(12), 795-800.

Mitroff, S. R., Scholl, B. J., & Wynn, K. (2004). Divide and conquer: How object files adapt when a persisting object splits into two. Psychological Science, 15(6), 420-425.

Scholl, B. J., & Pylyshyn, Z. W. (1999). Tracking multiple items through occlusion: Clues to visual objecthood. Cognitive Psychology, 38, 259-290.

Subjective Time Dilation  

Our experience of time is strikingly plastic: depending on contextual factors, the same objective duration can seem to fly by or drag on, and time appears to slow down dramatically in certain brief real-life events -- e.g. during car accidents. We have been exploring analogues of this sort of subjective time dilation (and contraction!) in the lab, often exploring the oddball effect -- in which 'oddballs' presented in series of otherwise identical stimuli seem to last unusually long. We have shown how locally discrete oddballs also dilate the apparent duration of other concurrent events in other parts of the visual field, and we proposed a new theory in which an oddball's sudden appearance may induce uncertainty about what will happen next, heightening attention until after the uncertainty is resolved. We also have a deep interest in the relationship between the perception of (continuous) time and (discrete) events. Although time seems especially primitive -- since we cannot perceive events without an underlying temporal medium -- we have shown in several ways (including a novel rhythmic reproduction task) how event segmentation itself influences how we perceive the passage of time -- inducing temporal dilation across events, but temporal contraction within events.
Representative Papers

Colombatto, C., Chen, Y. -C., & Scholl, B. J. (2024). Perceived gaze dynamics in social interactions can alter (and even reverse) the perceived temporal order of events. Cognition, 247, Article 105745, 1-8.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., Wong, K. W., & Scholl, B. J. (2024). What's next?: Time is subjectively dilated not only for 'oddball' events, but also for events immediately after oddballs. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 86(1), 16-21.

Ongchoco, J. D. K., Yates, T., & Scholl, B. J. (2023). Event segmentation structures temporal experience: Simultaneous dilation and contraction in rhythmic reproductions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 152(11), 3266-3276.

Liverence, B. M., & Scholl, B. J. (2012). Discrete events as units of perceived time. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 38(3), 549-554.

New, J. J., & Scholl, B. J. (2009). Subjective time dilation: Spatially local, object-based, or a global visual experience? Journal of Vision, 9(2):4, 1-11,

Roots of Aesthetic Experience in Visual Processing?  

Why do we like looking at some visual scenes and objects more than others? A huge part of the answer surely involves an unholy mix of personal history, countless sociological factors, and seemingly arbitrary cultural conventions. Some aesthetic regularities, nevertheless, are powerful enough to persist across people, contexts, and time. We have been exploring how such aesthetic regularities may have their roots in adaptive aspects of relatively low-level visual processing. Recent examples have included a "looking into the future" account of the inward bias, and the demonstration of deep underlying systematicities in the typicality of people's aesthestic tastes for 'everyday' scenes and environmental sounds.
Representative Papers

Chen, Y. -C., Chang, A., Rosenberg, M. D., Feng, D., Scholl, B. J., & Trainor, L. (2022). 'Taste typicality' is a foundational and multi-modal dimension of ordinary aesthetic experience. Current Biology, 32(8), 1837-1842.

Forman, I. R., Chen, Y. -C., Scholl, B. J., & Alvarez, G. A. (2021). The center cannot hold: Variations of frame width help to explain the 'inward bias' in aesthetic preferences. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 83(5), 2151-2158.

Chen, Y. -C., Colombatto, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). Looking into the future: An inward bias in aesthetic experience driven only by gaze cues. Cognition, 176, 209-214.

Chen, Y. -C., & Scholl, B. J. (2014). Seeing and liking: Biased perception of ambiguous figures consistent with the 'inward bias' in aesthetic preferences. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(6), 1444-1451.

Statistical Perception  

We typically think of perception as the recovery of increasingly rich information about individual objects, but there are also massive amounts of information that are both (1) distributed across objects, and (2) embodied in relations between objects in space and time. We are exploring the perception of such information in two ways. First, we are exploring the nature of perceptual averaging, wherein the mind can quickly and efficiently compute summary statistics of a scene -- e.g. computing the average size of an array of objects, or the average pitch of a sequence of tones. Here we've shown in several ways that perceptual averaging is more powerful than previously suspected -- and well adapted to natural visual environments. Second, in studies of visual statistical learning, we have explored the ways in which we unintentionally and unconsciously learn about the relationships between objects -- showing that this process too is far more powerful than previously demonstrated. In these ways, we are learning about some surprising abilities possessed by the visual system that are not apparent from our conscious experience.
Representative Papers

Uddenberg, S., Newman, G. E., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Ensemble representations in visual communication: How well can we perceive average values from graphs of raw data?

Albrecht, A. R., Scholl, B. J., & Chun, M. M. (2012). Perceptual averaging by eye and ear: Computing summary statistics from multimodal stimuli. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74(5), 810-815.

Turk-Browne, N. B., Scholl, B. J., Johnson, M. K., & Chun, M. M. (2010). Implicit perceptual anticipation triggered by statistical learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(33), 11177-11187.

Albrecht, A. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2010). Perceptually averaging in a continuous visual world: Extracting statistical summary representations over time. Psychological Science, 21(4), 560-567.

Scholl, B. J., & Turk-Browne, N. B. (2010). Statistical learning. In B. Goldstein (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Perception, Volume 2 (pp. 935-938). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Turk-Browne, N. B., Scholl, B. J., Chun, M. M., & Johnson, M. K. (2009). Neural evidence of statistical learning: Efficient detection of visual regularities without awareness. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(10), 1934-1945.

Turk-Browne, N. B., & Scholl, B. J. (2009). Flexible visual statistical learning: Transfer across space and time. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 35(1), 195-202.

Turk-Browne, N. B., Isola, P. J., Scholl, B. J., & Treat, T. A. (2008). Multidimensional visual statistical learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 34(2), 399-407.

Fiser, J., Scholl, B. J., & Aslin, R. N. (2007). Perceived object trajectories during occlusion constrain visual statistical learning. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14(1), 173-178.

Junge, J. A., Scholl, B. J., & Chun, M. M. (2007). How is spatial context learning integrated over time?: A primacy effect in contextual cueing. Visual Cognition, 15(1), 1-11.

Turk-Browne, N. B., Junge, J. A., & Scholl, B. J. (2005). The automaticity of visual statistical learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134(4), 552-564.

Endress, A. D., Scholl, B. J., & Mehler, J. (2005). The role of salience in the extraction of algebraic rules. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134(3), 406-419.

Other Active Research Interests  

Our laboratory also maintains several other active research interests, including the efficient communication of visual information, and the foundations of cognitive science. We are particularly interested in the question of how cognitive science succeeds as a coherent, unified discipline.
Representative Papers

Uddenberg, S., Kwak, J., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Reconstructing mental representations of block towers: A new bias for physical stability in visual working memory.

Colombatto, C., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Attending to attention: Reverse correlation reveals subtle cues to attentiveness in others' faces.

Chituc, V., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). The El Greco fallacy, this time with feeling: How (not) to measure group differences in emotional intensity.

Chituc, V., Crockett, M. J., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). How to show that a cruel prank is worse than a war crime: Shifting scales and missing benchmarks in the study of moral judgment.

Walter-Terrill, R., Ongchoco, J. D. K., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Time to get a new videoconferencing microphone?: Superficial auditory (dis)fluency biases higher-level social judgment.

Koller, W. N., Ongchoco, J. D. K., Bronstein, M. V., Scholl, B. J., & Cannon, T. D. (under review). A "hyper-recency" bias in memory characterizes both psychoticism and deja vu experiences.

Raila, H., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Could some effects of emotion on cognition be driven by visual features, rather than semantic content?: Four case studies using the IAPS images.

Uddenberg, S., & Scholl, B. J. (under review). Ten angry men: Serial reproduction reveals that angry faces are represented as more masculine.

Wong, K. W., & Scholl, B. J. (in press). Spontaneous path tracing in task-irrelevant mazes: Spatial affordances trigger dynamic visual routines. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Colombatto, C., Uddenberg, S., & Scholl, B. J. (2021). The efficiency of demography in face perception. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 83(8), 3104-3117.

Lin, Q., Yousif, S., Chun, M. M., & Scholl, B. J. (2021). Visual memorability in the absence of semantic content. Cognition, 212, Article 104714, 1-12.

Yousif, S. R., Chen, Y. -C., & Scholl, B. J. (2020). Systematic angular biases in the representation of visual space. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 82(6), 3124-3143.

Uddenberg, S., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). TeleFace: Serial reproduction of faces reveals a Whiteward bias in race memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(10), 1466-1487.

Lowet, A. S., Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). Seeing structure: Shape skeletons modulate perceived similarity. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 80(5), 1278-1289.

Scholl, B. J. (2017). Reliability in psychology: Means versus ends. APS Observer, 30(9), 38-39.

Raila, H., Scholl, B. J., & Gruber, J. (2015). Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses: People who are happy and satisfied with life preferentially attend to positive stimuli. Emotion, 15(4), 449-462.

Newman, G. E., & Scholl, B. J. (2012). Bar graphs depicting averages are perceptually misinterpreted: The 'within-the-bar' bias. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(4), 601-607.

New, J. J., Schultz, R. T., Wolf, J., Niehaus, J. L., Klin, A., German, T., & Scholl, B. J. (2010). The scope of social attention deficits in autism: Prioritized orienting to people and animals in static natural scenes. Neuropsychologia, 48(1), 51-59.

Turk-Browne, N. B., Scholl, B. J., & Chun, M. M. (2008). Babies and brains: Habituation in infant cognition and functional neuroimaging. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2, Article 16

Scholl, B. J. (2005). Innateness and (Bayesian) visual perception: Reconciling nativism and development. In P. Carruthers, S. Laurence, & S. Stich (Eds.), The innate mind: Structure and contents (pp. 34-52). Oxford University Press.

Scholl, B. J. (2004). Can infants' object concepts be trained? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(2), 49-51.

Scholl, B. J., & Leslie, A. M. (2001). Minds, modules, and meta-analysis. Child Development, 72(3), 696-701.

Scholl, B. J., & Leslie, A. M. (1999). Modularity, development, and 'Theory of Mind'. Mind & Language, 14(1), 131-153.