Objects and Knowledge Laboratory

The OAK-Lab studies object recognition and perceptual expertise, using a combination of behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods.

The general research goal of the lab is to understand how the human brain perceives the visual world, and how such processes are influenced by experience and learning. We use primarily a combination of behavioral, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and computational methods to study these questions.


Several ongoing research projects include:

  • How do different types of conceptual knowledge influence recognition?
  • How do visual and conceptual knowledge interact?
  • How is perception of faces and objects shaped by experience?

My research focus is on how our brains make sense of what we see. We are highly efficient in recognizing thousands of different people and objects. Our expertise in recognizing various familiar things like faces, words, and artifacts leads to specialization in different brain regions and networks. The use of MRI is crucial for me to understand how the human brain perceives visual information and transforms them into concepts.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Olivia Cheung