When interacting with others, we effortlessly ‘read’ information in their appearance and behaviour, such as their identity, their emotional state, and their focus of attention. How does our visual system extract and encode this information? In this talk, I will focus on the visual processes underlying our perception of gaze direction, a ubiquitous social cue that can reveal to us other people’s intentions and help us to predict their behaviour. I will discuss the visual cues that contribute to our perception of other people’s gaze direction, and sensory computations involved in coding information about gaze direction across a neuronal population. I will also outline some work that examines the function of these social-perceptual mechanisms in autism and developmental prosopagnosia, conditions defined partly by differences in social experience. 


I am a postdoctoral fellow funded by the Australian Research Council, and based in the School of Psychology at University of New South Wales. I study visual perception, with a focus on how the brain processes the socially-critical features of our sensory environment, like the eyes, faces, and behaviours of the people around us. I approach this using visual psychophysics, computational modelling, and 3D graphical rendering. I am also interested in how differences between people in the way that their brain processes sensory information may contribute to conditions like autism and schizophrenia, which I have pursued together with collaborators in the UK, Belgium, New Zealand, and Australia. My postdoctoral training was with Professor Colin Clifford, a vision scientist at the University of New South Wales. I completed an interdisciplinary Ph.D. at the Cognition and Philosophy Lab at Monash University, supervised by Professors Jakob Hohwy and Peter Enticott.

Seminar series

Vaegan seminars 2022


Friday 30 September 2022




Dr Colin Palmer