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PEOPLE

Collaborative Coordinators

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Jim Tanaka 

Executive Coordinator 
University of Victoria, Canada

Jim Tanaka is a professor in the Brain and Cognition program in the Psychology Department at the University of Victoria. British Columbia, Canada. His research examines the cognitive and neural basis of face and object recognition and how experience shapes the way we see the world. Jim is the Executive Coordinator of the Different Minds Collaborative and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

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Anna Lawrance

Communications Coordinator 
University of Victoria, Canada

Anna is currently pursuing a BSc in Psychology at the University of Victoria. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she has been actively involved in research under the supervision of Dr. Tanaka. Currently, she is exploring the application of a psychological embedding software, PsiZ, in educational settings, focusing on the development of rock and insect expertise.

Principal Investigators

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Ben Balas 

North Dakota State University, ​United States

Dr. Benjamin Balas received his Ph.D. in 2007 from MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Science. Prior to joining the faculty at NDSU, he did post-doctoral research at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Balas’ research interests are primarily in face and object recognition, with an emphasis on visual learning and developmental processes.

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Isabelle Boutet

University of Ottawa, ​Canada

I am currently an associate professor at the University of Ottawa. I established the SCOPE lab in 2022 after working as a teaching-intensive professor for almost 15 years. My research program is oriented along two main axes. The first axis is devoted to understanding the mechanisms that underlie the astounding human ability to recognize human faces. In my laboratory, participants of different age groups are asked to perform tasks that require making judgements on faces. Behavioural data and physiological responses (primarily eye-tracking) are recorded. The second axis of my research program focuses on how humans signal their identity and acquire information about others in technology-mediated-communication where there is a paucity of non-verbal cues.

 

Link to Lab Website

Amy Dawel 

Australian National University, Australia 

Amy Dawel is a Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist, and head of the Facial Expressions and Emotions Lab, in the Research School of Psychology at The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Her research examines how people perceive and respond to facial expressions of emotion, focusing on the difference between genuine and posed expressions. Her work also explores how facial expression processing is associated with individual differences in clinical and personality traits (e.g., social anxiety, psychopathy).

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Karla Evans 

University of York, United Kingdom

Karla K. Evans is a professor in the Department in the Psychology Department at the University of York, United Kingdom. Her research interest includes visual awareness and memory, attention, perceptual expertise, cross-modal perception and medical image perception. Karla’s lab employs, behavioural, imaging and computational methods to investigate the different topics in visual cognition.

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Elena Geangu 

University of York, United Kingdom

Dr. Elena Geangu received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Babes-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) in 2008, and is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of York (UK). Her research examines how infants and toddlers develop the ability to extract meaningful information from the people around them (face, voice, body postures), and how the statistics and regularities of the natural environment contribute to this development. Her research program further explores how complex socio-emotional abilities, such as empathy, emerge in infancy. More recently, Dr. Geangu’s lab developed new wearable devices (integrated head-mounted camera and body sensor) for recording infants’ audio-visual egocentric perspective of their natural environment, coupled with physiological signals indicative of cognitive function (e.g., attention) and arousal. These technological advances allow adopting more ecological approaches to infant development.

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Kami Koldewyn 

University of Bangor, United Kingdom

Kami completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis in 2009. She then spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with Nancy Kanwisher. Kami is a Professor in the Department of Psychology in the School of Psychology and Sport Science at Bangor University and is part of the Cognitive Neuroscience research group in the school. Her research interests include: The development of social perception and social cognition across the lifespan, Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social perception and cognition, and the brain bases of social perception and social cognition.

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Jacob Martin

Georgetown University, United States

Jacob’s current research is focused on creating and using human psychophysics paradigms to understand sensory processing and how it relates to consciousness, learning, and memory.  He collects and analyzes human data from single neurons, EEG, mobile experiments, eye-tracking, and electrocorticography.  He currently holds a Visiting Scientist position at The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research.

Link to Google Scholar

Ipek Oruc 

University of British Columbia, Canada

Ipek Oruc is an associate professor in the Visual Cognition Division in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Her research examines recognition of visual formsuch as letters and faces, and the ways in which spatial scale, noise, blur, exposure, and experience impact this process. Ipek leads an interdisciplinary group that uses a diverse set of methodologies ranging from visual psychophysics and computational modeling to AI approaches such as deep learning. Her research aims to understand visual recognition in healthy as well as clinical populations including individuals with autism spectrum disorder and prosopagnosia.

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Alice O'Toole

University of Texas at Dallas, United States

Alice O’Toole is a professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas (U.S.).  Her research examines the perception of faces from the perspectives of psychology, computational modeling, and neuroscience.  Alice is the Director of the Face Perception Lab at UT-Dallas, a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychology and of the IEEE: Transactions on Biometric, Behavior, and Identity Science.

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Heida Sigurdardottir 

University of Iceland, Iceland 

Heida is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Iceland. Her research focuses on visual cognition, including face and object perception/recognition, the effects of experience on high-level visual processes (learning and memory), and individual differences. Heida primarily uses behavioral methods, but her research has also involved the use of electrophysiology (single-cell recordings, EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye tracking, pupillometry, and deep neural networks. Heida holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Brown University (emphasis: systems/cognitive neuroscience; primary advisor: David Sheinberg; secondary advisor: Michael J. Tarr). 

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Quoc Vuong 

Newcastle University, United Kingdom 

Quoc Vuong is a senior lecturer in the Biosciences Institute at Newcastle University, UK. He is interested in how people combine spatial and temporal information from different senses (including seeing, hearing, touch and “pain”) for everyday activities like recognising objects or avoiding painful events. To tackle issues in this research area, he combines techniques like behavioural measurements, computer graphics, eye tracking and brain imaging.

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Timothy Rogers 

University of Wisconsin, United States

I am interested in understanding human semantic memory; that is, our knowledge about the meanings of words, objects, and events. Specifically, I would like to understand how semantic knowledge is stored and represented in the mind and brain, how it is acquired throughout development, how semantic tasks are performed by healthy adults and experts, and how semantic knowledge degrades in dementia. I address these questions using neural network models, functional brain imaging, and empirical investigation with healthy, developing, and brain-damaged populations.

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Affiliates

Ilya Nudnou, Balas Lab

Ben Steward, Dawel Lab

Liz Miller, Dawel Lab

Paige Mewton, Dawel Lab

Cameron Kyle-Davison, Evans Lab

Emma Madden, Evans Lab

Emma Raat, Evans Lab

Lyndon Rakusen, Evans Lab

Asal Johnson, O’Toole Lab

Connor Parde, O’Toole Lab

Geraldine Jeckeln, O’Toole Lab

Matthew Hill, O’Toole Lab

Ying Hu, O’Toole Lab

Gulcenur Ozturan, Oruc Lab

Mahmoud Khademi, Oruc Lab

Morteza Mousavi, Oruc Lab

Parsa Delavari, Oruc Lab

Todd Kamensek, Oruc Lab

Alison Campell, Tanaka Lab 

Simen Hagen, Tanaka Lab

Amy vanWell, Tanaka Lab

Tomasso Viola, Vuong Lab

Y. Ivette Colón, Rogers Lab

Catrina Dorrell, Dawel Lab

Shuyu Zhang, Dawel Lab

Oscar Scolls, Evans Lab

Esha Kanna, O’Toole Lab

Kate Marquis, O’Toole Lab

Nadia Tarazi, Oruc Lab

Katelyn Forner, Tanaka Lab

Anna Lawrance, Tanaka Lab

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