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Faculty - Cognitive Psychology

Phil Kellman [Edit Page]


Cognitive Psychology

Contact Information

Office: 6451B FH

Phone: (310) 825-4159, 825-4202


Research and Teaching Interests

Perception and visual cognition, particularily visual
perception of objects, space, and motion; perceptual learning
and development.

Perceptual learning and its applications to education,
skill acquisition and educational technology.

Human factors applications of perception and cognition
research, e.g., perceptual and cognitive processes in
aviation and driving.

Research in our laboratory centers on human perception and
cognition, with an emphasis on visual perception of objects,
space and motion. Our work involves psychophysical
experimentation and computational modeling aimed at
understanding how perceivers extract information from their
environment and derive representations of objects, the layout
of environments and events occurring within it. Some specific
concerns include object and surface perception from
information that is fragmentary across space and time, visual
perception of objects and space by moving observers,
perception of three-dimensional form, interactions among
object, space and motion perception, and perceptual

We are also highly involved in studying perceptual and
pattern learning and visual cognition. Experts in a
particular domain differ from novices in the ease and
efficiency with which they pick up structured information.
Our work seeks to understand these changes in information
extraction and model it by combining symbolic and
connectionist architectures. We are also developing and
testing methods of training and accelerating expert
information extraction skills. These include applications in
aviation training, mathematics and science learning, air
traffic control and in several other commercial contexts.

Please visit my lab


Phil Kellman's Publications  pdf icon

Representative Publications

Visual Perception of Objects, Contours, and Surfaces

Keane, B., Mettler, E., Tsoi, V., & Kellman, P. J.  (in press). Contour interpolation automatically directs attention in multiple object tracking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance.

Kalar, D., Garrigan, P., Hilger, J., Wickens, T. & Kellman, P.J. (2010). A unified model for contour interpolation. Vision Research, 50(3), 284-299.

Fantoni, C., Hilger, J., Gerbino, W. & Kellman, P. J.  (2008).  Surface interpolation and 3D relatability.  Journal of Vision, Vol. 8, No. 7, Article 29, 1-19.   

Keane, B. P., Lu, H., & Kellman, P. J. (2007). Classification images reveal spatiotemporal interpolation in illusory figures. Vision Research, 47, 3460-3475.

Kellman, P.J., Garrigan, P.B., Shipley, T.F. & Keane, B.P. (2007). Interpolation processes in object perception:  A reply to Anderson.  Psychological Review, 114(2): 488-502.

Palmer, E. M., Kellman, P. J., & Shipley, T. F. (2006). A theory of dynamic occluded and illusory object perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 135, 513–541.  (Selected for American Psychological Association Young Investigator Award – best paper published in JEP: General in 2006 by a young investigator (Evan Palmer).)


Perceptual and Adaptive Learning and their Applications

Massey, C.M., Kellman, P.J., Roth, Z. & Burke, T.  (in press). Perceptual learning and adaptive learning technology:  Developing new approaches to mathematics learning in the classroom. In Stein, N.L. (Ed.), Developmental and learning sciences go to school: Implications for education.

Kellman, P.J., Massey, C.M & Son, J. (2010). Perceptual learning modules in mathematics: Enhancing students' pattern recognition, structure extraction, and fluency.  Topics in Cognitive Science (Special Issue on Perceptual Learning), Vol. 2, Issue 2, 285-305.

Kellman, P.J. & Garrigan, P.B. (2009).  Perceptual learning and human expertise.  Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 6, No. 2, 53-84.

Garrigan, P.B. & Kellman, P.J. (2008). Perceptual learning depends on perceptual constancy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Vol. 105, No. 6, 2248-2253.

Kellman, P.J., Massey, C.M., Roth, Z., Burke, T., Zucker, J., Saw, A., Aguero, K.E. & Wise, J.A. (2008). Perceptual learning and the technology of expertise: Studies in fraction learning and algebra. Learning Technologies and Cognition: Special issue of Pragmatics & Cognition, 16:2 (2008), 356–405.

Faculty Awards