Welcome to the homepage of the New School for Social Research Perception Laboratory! We study many aspects of visual perception, with a special focus on the perception of minds.

Even simple geometric shapes look alive and goal-directed 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, our research has shown that perceiving animacy and intentionality has a host of adaptive downstream effects on attention, memory, and behavior. Over the course of this work, we have uncovered some fun illusions that provide some clues as to how these percepts arise. We also conduct research on event perception, on the perception of art, and on meta-psychological questions, such as how to best study perceptual states.

Browse the rest of the lab website for project descriptons, demos, and other fun odds and ends.

Recent News from the Lab

- Congratulations to Hong Nguyen for winning the Best Talk (!) award at OPAM, for her talk "May the Force be against you: Better sensitivity to acceleration that appears to resist gravity". We are feeling very proud of Hong for having received this recognition for her hard work! (November 2021)

- Psychonomics attendees: look out for our symposium, Beyond the Button Press: Studying the Mind Through Drawings! (November 2021)

- Hong Nguyen's project on the perception of physical forces has been accepted for a talk at the Object Perception & Memory (OPAM) workshop! (August 2021)

- Congratulations to Jiangxue Ning, who has received an award from the NSSR's student travel fund to support her research on visual aesthetics and the perception of space! (April 2021)

- We are excited to welcome three students from the New School's Psychology MA program into the Cognitive, Social, & Developmental PhD program! Didi Dunin, Suzy Lakatos, and Hong Nguyen have spent the past year developing some cool projects in the lab, with ongoing collaborations in the Fincher, Schober, and Miller labs. (March 2021)

- Congratulations to Hong Nguyen, Mariah Woodruff, and Leo Sedlmayer, who have won an MA Project Grant from the Office of Research Support to run a Gestalt Speaker Series in Spring 2021! Look out for email announcements about our upcoming discussions and talks — by Ian Verstegen, Gary Hatfield, Liliana Albertazzi, Eline Van Geert, Ruth Kimchi, and Vebjørn Ekroll. Talks are free and open to the public — schedule and registration details here. (December 2020)

- Congratulations to Silas Choudhury, an undergraduate at Parsons and Lang College, who has received a Student Research Award from the Office of Research Support to fund their project in the lab on the perception of fashion styles! (December 2020)