More about Victoria
Thesis Title: Visual Processing of Human Faces and Bodies in Natural Scenes
I am a fourth year PhD student in the School of Social Sciences. The working title of my thesis is Visual Processing of Human Faces and Bodies in Natural Scenes. I am primarily an Experimental Psychologist with particular interests in Cognitive Psychology, specifically visual attention and visual search.
My research has focused on how the face and body as visual stimuli are processed in natural scenes. Specifically, owing to the social and biological significance and neural specificity of the face and body, much research has examined whether these stimuli automatically capture a viewer’s attention. However, while the evidence for attention capture by faces is extensive, there is comparatively less behavioural evidence in favour of a similar attentional advantage for human bodies.
Additionally, most previous investigations of preferential attention towards faces and bodies have presented these stimuli in simple displays, namely uniform colour backgrounds. As a result, any findings of advantages for faces and bodies observed in these simple backgrounds are confined to these simple displays and are therefore limited in what they can reveal about attention capture by faces and bodies in the real world (Bindemann et al., 2010). It is possible that when presented under more realistic circumstances, e.g., in natural backgrounds, advantages for these stimuli may no longer be present.
My research has therefore addressed the relationship between visual attention and face and body processing in natural scenes directly by assessing the consequences of numerous manipulations in different behavioural paradigms.
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