Congratulations, Louisa!

QVCL is extending a warm congratulations to Louisa Man who successfully defended her Masters thesis this week. Louisa has been an incredible addition to the QVCL team, bringing a clinical framework to our cognitive lab for just over two years. In her time here, Louisa has overseen dozens of projects and challenged everyone in the lab to push their boundaries with her supportive and engaging perspective.

We are excited to see Louisa return to QVCL to complete her PhD in Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Castelhano. We are sure her new projects will expand the potential of the lab even further, and enlighten the connections between what we see and who we are.

Congratulations, Louisa!

Interested in joining QVCL as a researcher? Email qvcl.coord@gmail.com or visit our Get Involved page for more information!

Looking Toward Another Academic Year

QVCL would like to extend a thank you to all researchers, participants, and supporters of our research throughout the summer of 2018. This summer, we ran six studies, saw over 150 participants come through the lab, and all with a team of three research assistants, a lab coordinator and lab programmer, three graduate researchers, and a post-doctoral fellow! 

Studies included eye-tracking tasks and visual search, push-button paradigms, MRI research, and more, all with the intention to better understand visual cognition and perception. Based on the hard work of our researchers, and the incredible participation of Queen's students and Kingston community members, we truly believe we're making a difference in our field!

In the upcoming year, we're branching out into new studies, tasks, and research questions which, we hope, will help to round-out our understanding of visual cognition, delve deeper into the ways in which we process visual information, and acknowledge the differences amongst all those who perceive. We can't wait!

If you want to get involved in our research, whether as a volunteer or participant, we would be excited to hear from you. Reach out to us at qvcl.general@gmail.com or visit our get involved page!

Recent Research: The influence of scene context on parafoveal processing of objects

In a recent article published by the QVCL team (Dr. Monica Castelhano and Effie Pereira), a study revealed that preview information and scene context both independently add to one's parafoveal processing of objects, regardless of object-scene congruency interactions.

Read more about the exciting research coming from our lab here:

Many studies in reading have shown the enhancing effect of context on the processing of a word before it is directly fixated (parafoveal processing of words). Here, we examined whether scene context influences the parafoveal processing of objects and enhances the extraction of object information. Using a modified boundary paradigm called the Dot-Boundary paradigm, participants fixated on a suddenly onsetting cue before the preview object would onset 4° away. The preview object could be identical to the target, visually similar, visually dissimilar or a control (black rectangle). The preview changed to the target object once a saccade toward the object was made. Critically, the objects were presented on either a consistent or an inconsistent scene background. Results revealed that there was a greater processing benefit for consistent than inconsistent scene backgrounds and that identical and visually similar previews produced greater processing benefits than other previews. In the second experiment, we added an additional context condition in which the target location was inconsistent, but the scene semantics remained consistent. We found that changing the location of the target object disrupted the processing benefit derived from the consistent context. Most importantly, across both experiments, the effect of preview was not enhanced by scene context. Thus, preview information and scene context appear to independently boost the parafoveal processing of objects without any interaction from object–scene congruency.

Find the article here.

Welcome to QVCL!

Welcome to QVCL, a Queen's Psychology lab dedicated to understanding visual cognition in all of its complexity. We attempt to increase knowledge on what we see and why we see it by conducting both cognitive and behavioural studies, including eye-tracking experiments, MRI, push-button response tasks and more!

Led by Queen's Professor Dr. Castelhano, we're a team of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctorate researchers who are constantly taking on new projects and pushing the limits of visual cognitive research.

You can find out more about our research, or how you can get involved by checking up with our Facebook page, or following our Instagram or Twitter @qvclpsych. We're always sharing new research from our field, and we can't wait to see your engagement with us!