Visual Perception Lab
The visual perception lab at Wheaton College is run by Professor Rolf Nelson and is located in Mars Science Center 1112.
A number of research topics within visual perception are explored in the lab. One of the main areas of interest is that of perceptual organization, including Gestalt principles of grouping and figure-ground perception. In this research, we explore the way in which our minds are able to construct a world full of meaningful shapes, objects, and categories from the array of light that falls upon our eyes.
Another area of particular interest is that of visual selective attention. How is it that we manage to select the most relevant information from the barrage of data that is constantly flooding our senses? We as humans have some very sophisticated cognitive apparatus that manages to sort out what we need to perceive and remember, but this often comes at a cost of neglecting most of what goes on in the world.
These and other topics in perception are approached from a cognitive point of view and usually involve measuring responses from participants -- judgments and reaction times in carefully controlled perceptual tasks.
Volunteering in the Perception Lab
Typically one or two students are employed at a time through the WRP (Wheaton Research Program) and various grants during both the academic year and the summer. We always welcome volunteers who are interested in gaining experience in a research setting or who are just interested in perception! Contact Professor Rolf Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to get involved.