Photo of Dr Rebecca Lawson

Dr Rebecca Lawson



Personal Statement

Please go to my website for more information.

My research investigates diverse aspects of processing in the human object recognition system for vision and for haptics (which is our sense of active touch). Most of my empirical research measures the speed and accuracy of human performance at recognising familiar and novel objects using our eyes or our hands in the face of disruptive object transformations such as plane and depth rotation and size changes. I also manipulate memory, context and attentional demands on participants.

I am particularly interested in how we achieve visual and haptic object constancy (so how do we consistently categorise objects when the same object can appear so different when we re-encounter it?) and how we categorise stimuli in order to discriminate between different shapes. Other topics that I investigate include the factors underlying people's decisions about how to categorise into general classes, what determines the shape and the part structure of our internal object representations, and our haptic versus visual preferences for 3D shapes and for direct eye gaze in human faces. More broadly, I investigate people's perception and beliefs about images on mirrors and windows and people's failures to causally understand how everyday objects function.

If you want to contact me about my research, my email address is

I am always interested in discussing options for doing a PhD with me.