Department of Psychology
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Welcome to the Face Perception Lab

For Interested Students

M.A. / Ph.D. Students

Our research team studies a wide range of phenomena. What ties our studies together is a keen interest in how we perceive information in the face. If some of these questions interest you, then the Face Perception Lab might be an excellent choice for your studies.

How do children form first impressions? Recent work suggests that children are less able than adults to use subtle facial expressions to form first impressions. (Unlike adults, for example, they are less likely to assume that someone who looks happy is trustworthy or that someone who looks angry is dominant.)

Is averaging a key to success? Recent work shows that the ability to form an average (of facial expressions or identity) facilitates accurate recognition. How does the ability to rapidly form an average develop during childhood?

How useful is photo ID? Recent work suggest it is very difficult to match identity when a face is unfamiliar. Recognizing that two photos belong to the same person is especially hard for face categories with which we have less experience.

Can children recognize faces as well as adults? Recent studies suggest that 4- and 5-year-olds learn faces much less well than older children and adults. They often fail to recognize new pictures of their own teacher.

How does visual working memory contribute to differences in face recognition? Recent work shows that our representation of other-race faces is much less precise than that of own-race faces.

I currently have space for 1 - 2 additional graduate students. Students become fully engaged in one or more of our research programs (e.g., emotion perception, identity perception, development) and may enroll in any of the three focus areas: Lifespan Development, Behavioural & Cognitive Neuroscience, or Social/Personality.

Students are funded through a combination of Research Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships and my NSERC and SSHRC grants; they are encouraged to apply for additional graduate fellowships. Students in my lab meet with me on a regular basis to discuss relevant journal articles and ongoing projects. They also participate in weekly lab meetings. My students present their work at international/national conferences and publish their work in top-tier journals. Graduate students frequently collaborate with each other, with postdoctoral fellows in my lab, and mentor undergraduate students. I also encourage students to collaborate with other faculty members both at Brock and at other institutions (see Research Interest Groups -- we are members of the LIfespan Centre & the Cognitive Brain Research Group).

Interested students are welcome to contact my current students, Xiaomei Zhou (PhD), and Claire Matthews (MA), as well as my recent PhD student, Lindsey Short (now an Assistant Professor, [As you can see above, we have regular social events to foster a supportive and fun work environment!]














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