Skip to main content

Frank Tong

Centennial Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology

Research Interests: The goal of my research is to investigate, characterize, and model the neural mechanisms that mediate human visual perception and cognition. What allows us to detect the presence of a clump of weeds in a lawn, to recognize an animal hiding behind a bush, or to remember the precise hue and texture of an ocean surface during sunset? A core assumption in my work is that early visual representations have a powerful but underappreciated role in higher cognitive operations, and that higher-level mechanisms of attention and working memory serve to modulate processing at early visual sites to select and maintain task-relevant visual information. Characterizing and modeling the interplay between early visual representations and higher order representations represents a long-term goal of this work. Our work relies on behavioral and psychophysical methods, high-resolution fMRI, and advanced computational approaches for both data analysis and modeling.