Potential PhD Projects

Time perception in social interactions

We have all experienced situations wherein time seems to stretch while we are waiting for someone else to complete their work but speeds up when we are doing that same work. This project will explore such malleability of time perception as a function of our social interactions, such as cooperation and competition.

Behavioural oscillations

Some recent theories suggest that many perceptual and cognitive processes are oscillatory in nature (more effective at some time points and less at others). Here we will test if our ability to categorise objects (is it a dog or a cat?) also oscillates over time. Similarly, we will test if attentional allocation is oscillatory in nature. These project provide an oportunity to learn advanced analytical methods.

Visual processes in the periphery

Crowding and counting: ‘Crowding’ – the loss of object recognition in the presence of clutter – is a powerful bottleneck in our vision. Another apparent bottleneck is the finding that we cannot rapidly and accurately count more than a few (4-5) items at once, a phenomenon called ‘subitizing’. We will explore the relationship between these two phenomena.

Speed of peripheral processing. This is an area in vision that has produced contradictory results. Most visual processes slow down in the periphery (relative to the centre of the eye). However, a claim has been made that attentional processing becomes faster in the periphery. This project will test this counterintuitive claim by directly testing the speed of attention in the periphery.