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Frank Tong

Centennial Professor of Psychology
Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Frank Tong studies the neural bases of visual perception, attention, face and object recognition, and visual working memory, by using computational approaches to analyze behavioral performance and human neuroimaging data. His  lab uses advanced multivariate approaches to decode detailed information from brain activity patterns, and modeling-based approaches to characterize human behavioral performance. Techniques in the lab include visual psychophysics, high resolution fMRI at 7T, computational modeling, and most recently, comparisons between human perception and convolutional neural networks. 


Lab Website

Representative Publications

Harrison, S., & Tong, F. (2009). Decoding reveals the contents of visual working memory in early visual areas. Nature, 458, 632-635.

Tong, F., & Pratte, M. S. (2012). Decoding patterns of human brain activity. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 483-509.

Cohen, E. C., & Tong, F. (2015). Neural mechanisms of object-based attention. Cerebral Cortex, 25(4), 1080-1092.

Ling, S., Pratte, M. S., & Tong, F. (2015). Attention alters orientation processing in the human lateral geniculate nucleus. Nature Neuroscience, 18(4), 496-498.  

Pratte, M. S., Park, Y. P., Rademaker, R. L., & Tong, F. (2017). Accounting for stimulus-specific variation in precision reveals a discrete capacity limit in visual working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43, 6-17.

Poltoratski, S., Ling, S., McCormack, D., & Tong, F. (2017). Contrasting salience and attention in the early visual system. Journal of Neurophysiology, 118(1), 564-573. 


2006 - Young Investigator Award, Cognitive Neuroscience Society

2008 - Chancellor's Award for Research, Vanderbilt University

2009 - Young Investigator Award, Vision Sciences Society

2010 - Troland Research Award, National Academy of Sciences

2012-2016 - Board of Directors, Vision Sciences Society

2014 - present  Editorial Committee, Annual Review of Psychology