Dr Colin   Palmer
Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Colin Palmer

Science
School of Psychology

Postdoctoral Fellow

ARC DECRA Fellowship, 2019–2021

Postdoctoral Researcher, UNSW, 2016–2019

Ph.D., Monash University, 2016

Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience (Honours), Monash University, 2009

Contact: colin.palmer@unsw.edu.au

Research Summary

I study visual perception, with a focus on how the brain processes the social features of our sensory environment, like the eyes, faces, and behaviours of the people around us. I study this using visual psychophysics together with methods that include computational modelling and 3D graphical rendering. An aim of this research is to build upon our knowledge of how the visual system extracts the most basic elements of our environment (e.g., colour, shape, and motion) and develop a similarly mechanistic understanding of how our experience of the social world arises from the activity of our nervous system.

I am funded by the Australian Research Council, working on a project that seeks to understand the perceptual and neural mechanisms that underlie our sensitivity to dynamic cues to social attention (e.g., eye and head movements). I lead another ARC project together with Professor Colin Clifford, which focusses on the detection of animacy in human vision, such as the question of what characterises 'lifelike' or ‘humanlike’ patterns of motion. A clinical application of this research is to understand how systematic differences in the way that the brain deals with sensory information contribute to both sensory and social difficulties in conditions like autism and schizophrenia, which I pursue together with collaborators in the UK and Australia.

Previously, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Colin Clifford’s lab at UNSW, focussing on the neural and sensory mechanisms underlying our perception of other people’s gaze direction. I completed an interdisciplinary Ph.D. at the Cognition and Philosophy Lab at Monash University, supervised by Professors Jakob Hohwy and Peter Enticott. My doctoral research concerned how general neurocognitive models of sensory processing in the brain (e.g., Bayesian and predictive coding models) shed light on the differences in sensory integration and social cognition that can occur in autism.

Research Areas: social vision, sensory processing, face perception, computational psychiatry, autism.

Teaching:

PSYC 3221 Vision and Brain (2019) 

Available to supervise research students.

Journal Articles:

Palmer, CJ*, Caruana, N*, Clifford, CWG, Seymour, K. (2018). Adaptive sensory coding of gaze direction in schizophreniaRoyal Society Open Science. *Joint authorship.

Palmer, CJ*, Caruana, N*, Clifford, CWG, Seymour, K. (2018). Perceptual integration of head and eye cues to gaze direction in schizophreniaRoyal Society Open Science. *Joint authorship.

Clifford, CWG, & Palmer, CJ. (2018). Adaptation to the direction of others’ gaze: a reviewFrontiers in Psychology, 9:2165.

Palmer, CJ, Lawson, RP, Clifford, CWG, & Rees, G. (2018). Establishing the scope of the divisive normalisation theory of autism: A reply to Rosenberg and SunkaraCortex.

Ding, C, Palmer, CJ, Hohwy, J, Youssef, G, Paton, B, Tsuchiya, N, Stout, J, & Thyagarajan, D. (2018). Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease changes perception in the rubber hand illusionScientific Reports, 8:13842.

Palmer, CJ, & Clifford, CWG. (2018). Adaptation to other people’s eye gaze reflects habituation of high-level perceptual representationsCognition, 180, 82–90.

Palmer, CJ*, Lawson, RP*, Shankar, S, Clifford, CWG, & Rees, G. (2018). Autistic adults show preserved normalisation of sensory responses in gaze processingCortex, 103, 13–23. *Joint authorship.

Alais, D, Kong, G, Palmer, CJ, & Clifford, CWG. (2018). Eye gaze direction shows a positive serial dependencyJournal of Vision, 18(4):11, 1–12.

Nguyen, ATT, Palmer, CJ, Otsuka, Y, Clifford, CWG. (2018). Biases in perceiving gaze vergenceJournal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(8), 1125–1133.

Palmer, CJ, & Clifford, CWG. (2017). The visual system encodes others’ direction of gaze in a first-person frame of referenceCognition, 168, 256-266.

Palmer, CJ, & Clifford, CWG. (2017). Perceived object trajectory is influenced by others' tracking movementsCurrent Biology, 27, 2169–2176.

Palmer, CJ, & Clifford, CWG. (2017). Functional mechanisms encoding others’ direction of gaze in the human nervous systemJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(10):1725-1738.

Ding, C, Palmer, CJ, Hohwy, J, Youssef, GJ, Paton, P, Tsuchiya, N, Stout, J, Thyagarajan, D. (2017). Parkinson’s disease alters multisensory perception: insights from the Rubber Hand IllusionNeuropsychologia, 97, 38–45.

Palmer, CJ, Lawson, RP, Hohwy, J. (2017). Bayesian approaches to autism: towards volatility, action, and behaviourPsychological Bulletin, 143(5), 521–542.

Hohwy, J, Paton, B, Palmer, CJ. (2016). Distrusting the Present. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 15, 315–335.

Palmer, CJ, Paton, B, Kirkovski, M, Enticott, PG, Hohwy, J. (2015). Context sensitivity in action decreases along the autism spectrum: a predictive processing perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282(1802).

Palmer, CJ, Seth, A, Hohwy, J. (2015). The felt presence of other minds: predictive processing, counterfactual predictions, and mentalising in autismConsciousness & Cognition, 36, 376–389.

Palmer, CJ, Paton, B, Enticott, P, Hohwy, J. (2015). ‘Subtypes’ in the presentation of autistic traits in the general adult population. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(5), 1291–1301.

Palmer, CJ, Paton, B, Hohwy, J, Enticott, P. (2013). Movement under uncertainty: The effects of the rubber-hand illusion vary along the nonclinical autism spectrum. Neuropsychologia, 51(10), 1942–1951.

Palmer, CJ, Paton, B, Barclay, L, Hohwy, J. (2013). Equality, efficiency, and sufficiency: Responding to multiple parameters of distributive justice during charitable distribution. The Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 4(4), 659–674.

Palmer, CJ, Paton, B, Ngo, TT, Thomson, RH, Hohwy, J, Miller, SM. (2013). Individual differences in moral behavior: A role for response to risk and uncertainty? Neuroethics, 6(1), 97–103.

Palmer CJ, Ellis KA, O’Neill, BV, Croft, RJ, Leung, S, Oliver, C, Wesnes, KA, Nathan, PJ. (2008). The cognitive effects of modulating the glycine site of the NMDA receptor with high-dose glycine in healthy controls. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 23(2), 151–159.

Book Chapters:

Hohwy, J, Palmer, CJ. (2014). Social cognition as causal inference: Implications for common knowledge and autism. In Mattia Gallotti and John Michael (Eds.), Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition. Springer

Grants:

ARC Discovery Project, 2020-2022. CJ Palmer & CWG Clifford. Extracting meaning from motion. $492,000.

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, 2019-2021. Human sensitivity to the dynamics of other people's eye movements. $356,000.

Experimental Psychology Society, Study Visit Grant, 2017. Testing computational theories of autism spectrum disorder in the social domain. £2,580.

Awards:

Emerging Investigator Award, Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 2017

Postdoctoral presentation award, Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 2016

Personal Links

Orcid

ResearchGate

Google Scholar

 

Publications

  • Book Chapters | 2014
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Hohwy J; Palmer C, 2014, 'Social cognition as causal inference: Implications for common knowledge and autism', in Gallotti M; Michael J (ed.), Perspectives on Social Ontology and Social Cognition, edn. Studies in the Philosophy of Sociality, Springer, pp. 167 - 189, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9147-2_12
  • Journal articles | 2021
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Han S; Alais D; Palmer C, 2021, 'Dynamic face mask enhances continuous flash suppression', Cognition, vol. 206, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104473
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Deschrijver E; Palmer C, 2020, 'Reframing social cognition: Relational versus representational mentalizing.', Psychological Bulletin, vol. 146, pp. 941 - 969, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bul0000302
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Clifford CWG, 2020, 'Face Pareidolia Recruits Mechanisms for Detecting Human Social Attention', Psychological Science, vol. 31, pp. 1001 - 1012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797620924814
    Journal articles | 2020
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Otsuka Y; Clifford CWG, 2020, 'A sparkle in the eye: Illumination cues and lightness constancy in the perception of eye contact', Cognition, vol. 205, pp. 104419, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104419
    Journal articles | 2019
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Lawson RP; Clifford CWG; Rees G, 2019, 'Establishing the scope of the divisive normalisation theory of autism: A reply to Rosenberg and Sunkara', Cortex, vol. 111, pp. 319 - 323, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.10.026
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Ding C; Palmer CJ; Hohwy J; Youssef GJ; Paton B; Tsuchiya N; Stout JC; Thyagarajan D, 2018, 'Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s disease changes perception in the Rubber Hand Illusion', Scientific Reports, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-31867-8
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Clifford CWG, 2018, 'Adaptation to other people's eye gaze reflects habituation of high-level perceptual representations', Cognition, vol. 180, pp. 82 - 90, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.07.005
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Alais D; Kong G; Palmer C; Clifford C, 2018, 'Eye gaze direction shows a positive serial dependency', Journal of Vision, vol. 18, pp. 1 - 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/18.4.11
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Lawson RP; Shankar S; Clifford CWG; Rees G, 2018, 'Autistic adults show preserved normalisation of sensory responses in gaze processing', Cortex, vol. 103, pp. 13 - 23, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.02.005
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Nguyen ATT; Palmer CJ; Otsuka Y; Clifford CWG, 2018, 'Biases in perceiving gaze vergence', Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol. 147, pp. 1125 - 1133, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000398
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Clifford CWG; Palmer CJ, 2018, 'Adaptation to the direction of others' gaze: A review', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02165
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Caruana N; Clifford CWG; Seymour KJ, 2018, 'Perceptual integration of head and eye cues to gaze direction in schizophrenia', Royal Society Open Science, vol. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180885
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Caruana N; Clifford CWG; Seymour KJ, 2018, 'Adaptive sensory coding of gaze direction in schizophrenia', Royal Society Open Science, vol. 5, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180886
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer C; Seymour K; Otsuka Y; Clifford C, 2018, 'Neural processing of others' gaze independent of specific facial features', Journal of Vision, vol. 18, pp. 196 - 196, http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/18.10.196
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Clifford CWG, 2017, 'The visual system encodes others’ direction of gaze in a first-person frame of reference', Cognition, vol. 168, pp. 256 - 266, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2017.07.007
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Clifford CWG, 2017, 'Functional mechanisms encoding others’ direction of gaze in the human nervous system', Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, vol. 29, pp. 1725 - 1738, http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01150
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Lawson RP; Hohwy J, 2017, 'Bayesian approaches to autism: Towards volatility, action, and behavior', Psychological Bulletin, vol. 143, pp. 521 - 542, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bul0000097
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Ding C; Palmer CJ; Hohwy J; Youssef GJ; Paton B; Tsuchiya N; Stout JC; Thyagarajan D, 2017, 'Parkinson's disease alters multisensory perception: Insights from the Rubber Hand Illusion', Neuropsychologia, vol. 97, pp. 38 - 45, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.01.031
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Clifford CWG, 2017, 'Perceived Object Trajectory Is Influenced by Others’ Tracking Movements', Current Biology, vol. 27, pp. 2169 - 2176.e4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.019
    Journal articles | 2016
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Hohwy J; Paton B; Palmer C, 2016, 'Distrusting the present', Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, vol. 15, pp. 315 - 335, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11097-015-9439-6
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Seth AK; Hohwy J, 2015, 'The felt presence of other minds: Predictive processing, counterfactual predictions, and mentalising in autism', Consciousness and Cognition, vol. 36, pp. 376 - 389, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2015.04.007
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Paton B; Kirkovski M; Enticott PG; Hohwy J, 2015, 'Context sensitivity in action decreases along the autism spectrum: a predictive processing perspective', Proceedings. Biological sciences, vol. 282, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.1557
    Journal articles | 2015
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Paton B; Enticott PG; Hohwy J, 2015, '‘Subtypes’ in the Presentation of Autistic Traits in the General Adult Population', Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, vol. 45, pp. 1291 - 1301, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-014-2289-1
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Paton B; Hohwy J; Enticott PG, 2013, 'Movement under uncertainty: The effects of the rubber-hand illusion vary along the nonclinical autism spectrum', Neuropsychologia, vol. 51, pp. 1942 - 1951, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.06.020
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Paton B; Ngo TT; Thomson RH; Hohwy J; Miller SM, 2013, 'Individual differences in moral behaviour: A role for response to risk and uncertainty?', Neuroethics, vol. 6, pp. 97 - 103, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12152-012-9158-4
    Journal articles | 2013
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer CJ; Paton B; Barclay L; Hohwy J, 2013, 'Equality, Efficiency, and Sufficiency: Responding to Multiple Parameters of Distributive Justice During Charitable Distribution', Review of Philosophy and Psychology, vol. 4, pp. 659 - 674, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13164-013-0157-0
    Journal articles | 2008
    Dr Colin Palmer
    Palmer C; Ellis KA; O'Neill BV; Croft RJ; Leung S; Oliver C; Wesnes KA; Nathan PJ, 2008, 'The cognitive effects of modulating the glycine site of the NMDA receptor with high-dose glycine in healthy controls', Human Psychopharmacology, vol. 23, pp. 151 - 159, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hup.904

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