Mary Peterson

Mary Peterson

Professor, Cognition Science Program
Professor, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
Chair, Cognitive Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program
Member, Executive Committee on School of Mind, Brain and Behavior
Director, Visual Perception Laboratory
Peterson Headshot

Psychology 524 (Office)
Psychology 506 (Lab)

Research Interests: 

  • Cognitive neuroscience of shape and object perception, face perception, and context effects.
  • Attention.
  • Perceptual learning.

Updated: 07/05/22

Selected Publications: 

  • Sanguinetti, J. L., Trujillo, L. T., Schnyer, D. M., Allen, J. J. B., & Peterson, M. A. (2015). Increased alpha band activity indexes inhibitory competition across a border during figure assignment. Vision Research. Online publication: 28-AUG-2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.visres.2015.06.008
  • Spanò, G., Peterson, M.A., Nadel, L., & Edgin, J.O. (2015). Seeing can be remembering: Interactions between memory and perception in typical and atypical development. Clinical Psychological Science, 1-18. DOI: 10.1177/2167702615590997.
  • Cacciamani, L., Scalf, P. E., & Peterson, M. A. (2015). Neural evidence for competition-mediated suppression in the perception of a single object. Cortex. DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.05.018
  • Sanguinetti, J. L., Allen, J. J. B., & Peterson, M. A. (2014). The ground side of an object: perceived as shapeless yet processed for semantics. Psychological Science, 25(1), 256-264.
  • Peterson, Mary A. (2013). Low-level and High-level Contributions to Figure-Ground Organization: Evidence and Theoretical Implications. In J. Wagemans (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Perceptual Organization. NY: Oxford University Press
  • Peterson, M. A., Cacciamani, L., Barense, M. D., & Scalf, P. E. (2012.) The perirhinal cortex modulates V2 activity in response to the agreement between part familiarity and configuration familiarity. Hippocampus, 22, 1965-1977.


Courses Taught:

  • PSY 429 - Advanced Perception (2021)
  • PSY 536 - Visual Cognition (2015)

Updated: 11/13/23


  • Ph.D. Columbia University (1984)