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Welcome to the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab at NYU! We are a team of researchers aiming to understand the mechanisms underlying split-second social perception. A mere glimpse allows us to instantly categorize others into social groups (e.g., gender and race) and perceive their personality traits and emotion. In the lab, we examine how facial, vocal, bodily, and contextual cues drive split-second perceptions, as well as how such perceptions can be shaped by prior social knowledge, stereotypes, and other social cognitive factors. We also examine the social consequences of initial perceptions.


Research interests in the lab include the interplay between visual perception and social cognition; social categorization and stereotyping; face perception and trait attribution; the role of social context; the real-time evolution of social judgments; downstream consequences and real-world outcomes; accuracy and consistency in person perception; the perception and production of nonverbal cues; and social and cultural influences on the visual system.

The lab takes an integrative and multi-level approach that incorporates insights across social psychology and the cognitive, vision, and neural sciences. Our studies make use of a wide range of methodologies, including brain-imaging (fMRI), electrophysiology (EEG/ERP), real-time behavioral techniques such as mouse-tracking, and computational modeling. We believe this approach provides breadth in our knowledge and enhances the overall quality of the work.


Freeman Lab
Department of Psychology
New York University
6 Washington Place, Room 454
New York, NY 10003

Cartoon illustration at top-right by Danielle Laurenti.