NYU Department of Psychology

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Cognition and Perception

Developmental Psychology

NYU Psychology in the News

John Jost's research on resistance to change and system justification motivation was featured in a Washington Post article on the Paris agreement about climate change.

The Poeppel Lab's research on how the brain responds to the unique properties of the human scream has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, Slate, and the BBC.

Susan Andersen’s research testing the concept of transference in the lab was featured in NYT Magazine, highlighting recent neuroimaging work.

Karen Adolph and the Infant Action Lab's significant research on infants' fear of heights featured on NPR's Science Friday.

More recent news

NYU Psychology Awards and Honors

Congratulations to Todd Gureckis who has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers by the Obama Administration. Recipients of the award, established by President Clinton in 1996, are recognized for their "pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach."

The Nieman Foundation named "Tweeting from Left to Right," an article in Psychological Science by Pablo Barberá, John Jost, Jonathan Nagler, Joshua Tucker, and Richard Bonneau of NYU's Social Media and Political Participation laboratory, one of their top 10 papers for 2015 in digital news and social media research.

Congratulations to Ted Coons who will receive an honorary degree from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts at its annual commencement ceremony in recognition of his research and as a pioneer in neuro-aesthetics.

Congratulations to Emily Balcetis has won the Early Career Impact Award from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS). FABBS represents a coalition of major academic societies in the behavioral and brain sciences; this award is "presented to early career scientists of FABBS member societies during the first 10 years post-PhD and recognizes scientists who have made major contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior."

Congratulations to Jon Freeman who has received the SAGE Young Scholar Award, which recognizes "outstanding achievements by young scholars who are early in their research careers".

Congratulations to Jay Van Bavel who has been selected to receive a Visionary Fund Grant from the American Psychological Foundation. This grant seeks to foster innovation through supporting research, education and intervention projects and programs that use psychology to solve social problems.

Congratulations to Yaacov Trope on being selected to receive the 2015 Career Contribution Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

More recent awards


Slide 1

fMRI shows persistent brain activity during a delay while the participant tries to remember the spatial position of a visual cue. Clayton Curtis.

Slide 2

Can a neural net categorize like a human? Bob Rehder and Gregory Murphy.

Slide 3

Do intimate partners idealize their loved ones globally or only in certain domains? Gwen Seidman and Patrick Shrout.

Slide 4

Motion reveals depth. Jacqueline Snyder, Jeff Mulligan, and Larry Maloney.

Slide 5

How do babies learn what steepness they can crawl down? Karen Adolph.

Slide 6

How do we decide whether the ground is too slippery to walk on? Amy Joh, Karen Adolph, Margot Campbell, and Marion Eppler.

Slide 7

Could a vast number of people communicating by cell phone simulate a brain? Ned Block.

Slide 8

There are a dozen distinct, retinotopically-organized visual areas in the human brain that can be identified routinely in individual subjects. What are the functions of these brain areas and how is the neural activity in each area correlated with conscious visual experience? David Heeger.

Slide 9

Do extra cues to the illuminant in a scene (e.g., shadows, specularities) affect perceived surface roughness judgments? Xian Ho, Mike Landy, and Larry Maloney.

Slide 10

How does illumination affect perceived roughness? Xian Ho, Mike Landy, and Larry Maloney.

Slide 11

What are the psychological antecedents and consequences of political orientation? John Jost with Chadly Stern and Joanna Sterling.

Slide 12

How does attention affect visual processing? We used a peripheral cue to elicit an involuntary orienting of attention, and separated neural responses to the cues (blue areas) and to the stimuli (green areas) in the visual cortex. We find that attention increases neural activity, more at higher stages of visual processing. Taosheng Liu, Franco Pestilli, Marisa Carrasco, Neuron 2005.

Slide 13

How do children learn language? Gary Marcus.

Slide 14

Must vision isolate each object in order to recognize it? Can you identify any letter above without looking directly at it? Denis Pelli.

Slide 15

From understanding words to understanding sentences. MEG studies of natural language meaning. Liina Pylkkanen, Brian McElree, and Gregory Murphy.

Slide 16

What brain activity is sensitive to the internal structure of words? Eytan Zweig and Liina Pylkkanen.

Slide 17

When combining two cues to target location, how should spatial uncertainty of one cue affect the ideal observer's aim? Hadley Tassinari, Todd Hudson, and Mike Landy.

Slide 18

Two examples of incongruent visual stimuli: a word denoting social proximity, "us," located far from the observer. Because spatial distance is associated with social distance, participants are slower to indicate the location of the arrow and to identify the word on it with incongruent stimuli than with congruent stimuli ["us" located near the observer and "them" located far from the observer] Yaacov Trope.

Slide 19

What are the ideas that make people feel better about inequality in society? John Jost with Hannah Nam and Sharareh Noorbaloochi

Slide 20

Does the brain measure distances according to a warped geometry? Nick Gustafson and Nathaniel Daw

Slide 21

When participants see two different images, each presented to a different eye, the images rival for perceptual dominance. Perceivers consciously experience seeing one image and inhibit conscious experience of the other. This happens within a few hundred milliseconds and outside of perceivers' conscious awareness. We predicted which image would dominate perceivers' conscious perceptual experience by associating one image with financial reward and the other with financial cost. Perceivers saw what they wanted to see--that is, they saw the image associated with reward and inhibited the images associated with cost.

Balcetis, E., Dunning, D., & Granot, Y. (2012). Subjective value determines initial dominance in binocular rivalry. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 122-129.

Slide 22

If you are not 100% sure whether this animal is a cat or a dog, how likely do you think it is to meow? Gregory Murphy's lab investigates how we use categories to reason about uncertain objects and events.

Slide 23

The distribution of local orientations in retinal images has an over-representation of the cardinal orientations (vertical and horizontal) in images of both natural and urban scenes. Do humans estimate orientation in a Bayesian fashion, combining noisy sensory data with knowledge of the distribution of orientations in the world? Ahna Girshick, Michael Landy and Eero Simoncelli

Slide 24

Are color and texture cues inextricably linked in solving the figure-ground problem in visual perception? Toni Saarela and Michael Landy

Slide 25

Is speech a special sound for humans? Athena Vouloumanos's lab examines infants' biases for speech and their understanding of communicative interactions.

Slide 26

What are the neural structures and functions associated with moral and political reasoning? John Jost, Jay Van Bavel, and David Amodio with Hannah Nam and Sharareh Noorbaloochi

Slide 27

How does social group membership shape the way we perceive faces to have minds? Leor Hackel, Christine Looser & Jay Van Bavel

Hackel, L.M., Looser, C.E., & Van Bavel, J. J., (2014). Group membership alters the threshold for mind perception: The role of social identity, collective identification, and intergroup threat. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 52, 15-23.

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Student Awards

Stuart Cook Award
Chadly Stern

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award
Diego Reinero
Matt Riccio

Grinker Award
Ana Gantman
Yael Granot

Stuart Cook Award
Amy Krosch

Martin Braine Fellowship Award
Lisa Chalik

Coons/Leibowitz Graduate Student Teaching Award
Noelle Malvar

Friends of Katzell Fellowship for Applied Research in Psychology
Yael Granot
Daniel Yudkin

Douglas and Katharine Fryer Thesis Fellowship
Shana Cole
Kari Kretch

Katzell Fellowship in Psychology
Elyse Norton
Chadly Stern

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Award
Christina Crosby
Mariel Roberts

GSAS Dean's Dissertation Fellowship
Alex Wesnousky

James Arthur Fellowship
Sarah DuBrow

Cognitive Science Conference Marr Prize
Anna Coenen

More student awards