Ph.D., Columbia University, 1984
- Investigating the basic mechanisms producing conscious object perception
- Investigating how memory and attention affect object perception and detection
- Investigating how visual perception develops and changes across the lifespan
My research investigates how we perceive the world visually, a topic about which much is known, but a great deal remains to be discovered. Specifically, my students and I use the new techniques of cognitive neuroscience (e.g., fMRI, ERPs, and behavioral methods) to investigate:
- Inhibitory and facilitatory processes involved in assigning shape to certain portions of the visual field but not to others
- The relationship between perception and memory
- The processes used to learn new objects and to recognize familiar objects and how these change over the lifespan
- How attention affects perception
- How various parts of an object are bound together by the brain
- How brain damage affects attention and object perception
We test college students, infants and older adults. We also test brain-damaged individuals and individuals with developmental disabilities.
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.201505.018
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.
COGS 517 Introduction to Cognitive Science
NSCS 315A Cognitive Science Research Methods
PSY 329 Sensation and Perception
PSY 536 Visual Cognition