Research Group: Centre for Vision and Cognition (CVC)

The Centre for Vision and Cognition seeks to conduct experimental research that elucidates the psychological processes underlying human vision and cognitive function, including memory and learning. Its members use experimental and computational modelling methods with a diverse range of research tools, including fMRI, haptic feedback control systems and both laboratory-based and perambulatory eye-tracking.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

Its members use experimental and computational modelling methods with a diverse range of research tools, including fMRI, haptic feedback control systems and both laboratory-based and perambulatory eye-tracking.

The Laboratory is comprehensively networked: funded links have been created with other 5* Schools across the University (including the School of Electronics and Computer Science, the Institute for Sound and Vibration Research, and Biological Sciences). Close national and international collaborative links exist with key research centres including MPI Tubingen, Tianjin China, UCSD, UMASS, Utrecht, and Oklahoma. Research sponsors include BBSRC, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transport, EPSRC, ESRC, Leverhulme, Microsoft, QinetiQ, the Epilepsy Research Foundation, the British Academy and the Royal Society.

The Visual Cognition Laboratory's research themes range from high-level cognition (for example perceptual expertise & reading and strategic regulation of accuracy in memory) to low-level processes in vision and learning (for example inter-sensory coordination, attentional dynamics, associative learning, and object perception).

CVC Seminars

View our video library.

Facilities and equipment

CVC group members

CVC group members

DPI Laboratory

The lab is equipped with two Dual Purkinje Image eye trackers, set up to allow simultaneous recording of both eyes. The trackers sample every millisecond, with 1 minarc spatial accuracy. These are interfaced with Cambridge Research Systems shutter goggles, which can be used to present different images to each of the two eyes.

We are currently undertaking research in this lab with adult, child, and dyslexic samples, with both reading and non-reading tasks.

EyeLink 2K Laboratory

The EyeLink2000 lab has both the monocular, tower-mounted camera and the desk-mounted binocular camera available, interfaced with the software provided by SR-Research (Experiment Builder and DataViewer). The system samples at up to 2000 Hz, with spatial accuracy of 0.25°.

Currently, research is being carried out with adult samples on reading and non-reading tasks. The reading research is looking at both English and Chinese readers.

Perambulatory Eye Trackers

We have two perambulatory eye trackers that are designed to allow the participants to move around in the real world whilst their eye movements are being recorded. Each tracker has two cameras, allowing the recording of both the participant's eye movements and the scene in their field of view. These cameras are mounted on the frame of glasses, with the lightweight recording equipment and power supplies carried in a rucksack on the participant's back as they are having their eye movements recorded.

We are planning research with these eye trackers to examine social interactions and scene perception.

Phantom Lab

The PHANTOM force-feedback device  enables users to touch and manipulate virtual objects. In combination with stereo shutter goggles, this equipment is used to investigate how we combine visual and touch information.


We have three mirror stereoscopes available. Stereoscopes allow the presentation of different images to each eye, and are used for research into binocular rivalry, stereopsis, and contrast perception.

You can see a BBC news report about some of CVC's work here.

Video library

  • Using eye movements to understand the human mind
  • Eye movements and older adult readers
  • Identifying sources of configural face processing
  • What I saw
  • Massimiliano Di Luca: Time and time again
  • Dr Jenny Read: Depth in detail


Selected publications associated with this group from the University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints):


Cornes, Katherine, Donnelly, Nick, Godwin, Hayward and Wenger, Michael J (2011) Perceptual and decisional factors influencing the discrimination of inversion in the Thatcher illusion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37, (3), 645-668. (doi:10.1037/a0020985).
Godwin, H.J., Menneer, T., Cave, K.R., Helman, S., Way, R.L. and Donnelly, N. (2010) The impact of Relative Prevalence on dual-target search for threat items from airport X-ray screening. Acta Psychologica, 134, (1), 79-84. (doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2009.12.009).
Drieghe, Denis, Pollatsek, Alexander, Juhasz, Barbara J. and Rayner, Keith (2010) Parafoveal processing during reading is reduced across a morphological boundary. Cognition, 116, (1 ), 136-142. (doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.016).
Barkas, Lisa J., Henderson, Jenni L., Hamilton, Derek A., Redhead, Edward S. and Gray, William P. (2010) Selective temporal resections and spatial memory impairment: cue dependent lateralization effects. Behavioural Brain Research, 208, (2), 535-544. (doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2009.12.035). (PMID:20064564).
Kuhn, Gustav, Benson, Valerie, Fletcher-Watson, Sue, Kovshoff, Hanna, McCormick, Cristin A., Kirkby, Julie and Leekam, Sue R. (2010) Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Experimental Brain Research, 201, (2), 155-165. (doi:10.1007/s00221-009-2019-7).
Adams, W.J., Gray, K.L.H., Garner, M. and Graf, E.W. (2010) High-level face adaptation without awareness. Psychological Science, 21, (2), 205-210. (doi:10.1177/0956797609359508). (PMID:20424046).
Godwin, H.J., Menneer, T., Donnelly, N. and Cave, K.R. (2010) Dual-target search for high and low prevalence x-ray threat targets. Visual Cognition, 18, (10), 1439-1463. (doi:10.1080/13506285.2010.500605).
Menneer, T, Donnelly, N, Godwin, H. J. and Cave, K. R. (2010) High or low target prevalence increases the dual-target cost in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 16, (2), 133-144. (doi:10.1037/a0019569).
Shih, Shui-I (2009) Using the attention cascade model to probe cognitive aging. Psychology and Aging, 24, (3), 550-562. (doi:10.1037/a0016724).
Bruno, D., Higham, P.A. and Perfect, T.J. (2009) Global subjective memorability and the strength-based mirror effect. Memory & Cognition, 37, (6), 807-818. (doi:10.3758/MC.37.6.807).
Glautier, S., Redhead, E., Thorwart, A. and Lachnit, H. (2009) Reduced summation with common features in causal judgement. Experimental Psychology, 57, (4), 252-259. (doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000030).
Menneer, Tamaryn, Cave, Kyle R. and Donnelly, Nick (2009) The cost of search for multiple targets: effects of practice and target similarity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15, (2), 125-139. (doi:10.1037/a0015331).
Baker, Daniel H. and Graf, Erich W. (2009) Natural images dominate in binocular rivalry. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, (13), 5436-5441. (doi:10.1073/pnas.0812860106).
Benson, Valerie, Piper, Jenna and Fletcher-Watson, Sue (2009) Atypical saccadic scanning in autistic spectrum disorder. Neuropsychologia, 47, (4), 1178-1182. (doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.11.019).
Reichle, Erik D., Liversedge, Simon P., Pollatsek, Alexander and Rayner, Keith (2009) Encoding multiple words simultaneously in reading is implausible. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13, (3), 115-119. (doi:10.1016/j.tics.2008.12.002). (PMID:19223223).
Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S., Benson, V., Frank, M.C. and Findlay, J.M. (2009) Eye-movements reveal attention to social information in autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychologia, 47, (1), 248-257. (doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.07.016). (PMID:18706434).
Paterson, Kevin B., Liversedge, Simon P. and Davis, Colin J. (2009) Inhibitory neighbor priming effects in eye movements during reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, (1), 43-50. (doi:10.3758/PBR.16.1.43).
Filik, Ruth, Paterson, Kevin B. and Liversedge, Simon P. (2009) The influence of only and even on online semantic interpretation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, (4), 678-683. (doi:10.3758/PBR.16.4.678).
Glautier, Steven and Elgueta, Tito (2009) Multiple cue extinction effects on recovery of responding in causal judgements. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 22, (4), 254-270.
Drieghe, Denis, Pollatsek, Alexander, Staub, Adrian and Rayner, Keith (2008) The word grouping hypothesis and eye movements during reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition , 34, (6), 1552-1560. (doi:10.1037/a0013017).
Bai, Xuejun, Yan, Guoli, Liversedge, Simon P., Zang, Chuanli and Rayner, Keith (2008) Reading spaced and unspaced Chinese text: evidence from eye movements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, (5), 1277-1287. (doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.5.1277). (PMID:18823210).
Kirkby, Julie A., Webster, Lisa A.D., Blythe, Hazel I. and Liversedge, Simon P. (2008) Binocular coordination during reading and non-reading tasks. Psychological Bulletin, 134, (5), 742-763. (doi:10.1037/a0012979).
Drieghe, Denis (2008) Foveal processing and word skipping during reading. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, (4), 856-860. (doi:10.3758/PBR.15.4.856).
Benson, V. (2008) The influence of complex distractors in the remote distractor paradigm. Journal of Eye Movement Research (In Press).
Graf, E.W. and Adams, W.J. (2008) Surface organisation influences bistable vision. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34, (2), 502-508. (doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.2.502). (PMID:18377185).
Hamilton, D.A., Akers, G.K., Johnson, T.E., Rice, J.P., Candelaria, F.T., Sutherland, R.J., Weisend, M.P. and Redhead, E.S. (2008) The relative influence of place and direction in the Morris water task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behaviour Processes, 34, (1), 31-53. (doi:10.1037/0097-7403.34.1.31).
Fletcher-Watson, S., Findlay, J.M., Leekam, S. and Benson, V. (2008) Rapid detection of person information in a naturalistic scene. Perception, 37, (4), 571-583. (doi:10.1068/p5705).
Khun, Gustav and Benson, Valerie (2007) The influence of eye-gaze and arrow pointing distractors cues on voluntary eye movements. Perception and Psychophysics, 69, (6), 966-971.
Rayner, Keith, Pollatsek, Alexander, Drieghe, Denis, Slattery, Timothy J. and Reichle, Erik D. (2007) Tracking the mind during reading via eye movements: Comments on Kliegl, Nuthmann, and Engbert (2006). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, (3), 520-529. (doi:10.1037/0096-3445.136.3.520). (PMID:17696697).
Higham, Philip A. (2007) No Special K! A signal detection framework of the strategic regulation of memory accuracy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, (1), 1-22. (doi:10.1037/0096-3445.136.1.1). (PMID:17324082).
Liversedge, Simon P., Rayner, Keith, White, Sarah J., Findlay, John M. and McSorley, Eugene (2006) Binocular coordination of the eyes during reading. Current Biology, 16, (17), 1726-1729. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.051).
Rayner, Keith, White, Sarah J., Johnson, Rebecca L. and Liversedge, Simon P. (2006) Raeding wrods with jubmled letetrs: there is a cost. Psychological Science, 17, (3), 192-193. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01684.x).
Drieghe, Denis, Rayner, Keith and Pollatsek, Alexander (2005) Eye movements and word skipping during reading revisited. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 31, (5), 954-969. (doi:10.1037/0096-1523.31.5.954).
Adams, Wendy J., Graf, Erich W. and Ernst, Marc O. (2004) Experience can change the 'light-from-above' prior. Nature Neuroscience, 7, (10), 1057-1058. (doi:10.1038/nn1312).
Adams, Wendy J. and Mamassian, Pascal (2004) The effects of task and saliency on latencies for colour and motion processing. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271, (1535), 139-146. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2003.2566).
Rayner, Keith, Warren, Tessa, Juhasz, Barbara J. and Liversedge, Simon P. (2004) The effect of plausibility on eye movements in reading. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 30, (6), 1290-1301.
Rayner, Keith, Liversedge, Simon P., White, Sarah J. and Vergilino-Perez, Dorine (2003) Reading disappearing text: cognitive control of eye movements. Psychological Science, 14, (4), 385-388. (doi:10.1111/1467-9280.24483).
Shih, Shui-I and Sperling, George (2002) Measuring and modelling the trajectories of visual spatial attention. Psychological Review, 109, (2), 260-305. (doi:10.1037/0033-295X.109.2.260).
Graf, Erich W., Adams, Wendy J. and Lages, Martin (2002) Modulating motion induced blindness with surface completion and depth ordering. Vision Research, 42, (25), 2731-2735. (doi:10.1016/S0042-6989(02)00390-5).
Adams, Wendy J., Banks, Martin S. and van Ee, Raymond (2001) Adaptation to three-dimensional distortions in human vision. Nature Neuroscience, 4, (11), 1063-1064. (doi:10.1038/nn729).
Shih, Shui-I and Sperling, George (1996) Is there feature-based attentional selection in visual search? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 22, (3), 758-779.

Conference or Workshop Item

Miles, S. (2005) Catheter valves - an underused resource? At RCN Continence Care Forum, York, UK, 02 - 03 Nov 2005.


Members of staff associated with this group: