Maggie Shiffrar, Ph.D. - Visual Cognition Lab



Welcome to the Visual Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology on the Newark campus of Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey.  In this lab, researchers try to understand how the human visual system detects, interprets, and perceives the actions and bodily postures of other human beings.  To do this, we use systematic psychophysical measures to assess how, and how well, people see what others are doing, feeling, and intending.  Our goals are both basic and applied.  That is, we try to understand how the visual system of typical observers analyzes the form and motion information generated by other people when they stand, pose, gesture, and move their bodies.  We also try to help solve real world problems by advancing the scientific understanding of important disorders (e.g., eating disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and physical disability) as well as fundamental problems faced by our society (e.g., homeland security).  To learn more about our research programs in each of these areas, please click on the links above.

Over the past twenty years, our research program has been made possible by funding from international agencies (NATO, Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research), federal agencies (National Science Foundation, National Eye Institute), state agencies (New Jersey Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism; Rutgers University) and private foundations (Simons Foundation, National Association for Autism Research/Autism Speaks).  Our research program has been carried out by researchers who now hold positions in academic and industry settings (see People -> Alumni link) and by researchers who are current at Rutgers-Newark (see People -> Current Lab Members link).