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Thomas Palmeri

Professor of Psychology
Co-Director of Scientific Computing

My laboratory studies visual cognition, including visual categorization, visual memory, and visual decision making. We study how objects are perceived and represented by the visual system, how visual knowledge is represented and learned, and how visual decisions are made. We approach these questions using a combination of behavioral experiments, cognitive neuroscience techniques, and computational and neural modeling. One current project, funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates the temporal dynamics of visual object categorization and perceptual expertise for objects and faces. Another current project, funded by the National Eye Institute, uses computational modeling of visual decision making to predict behavioral dynamics and neural dynamics.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Selected publications. See for a complete list and links to PDF files.

  • Zandbelt, B.B., Purcell, B.A., Palmeri, T.J., Logan, G.D., Schall, J.D. (2014). Response times from ensembles of accumulators. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Ross, D.A., Deroche, M., & Palmeri, T.J. (2014). Not just the norm: Exemplar-based models also predict face aftereffects. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
  • Folstein, J., Palmeri, T.J., Gauthier, I (2013). Category learning increases discriminability of relevant object dimensions in visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 23(4), 814-823. 
  • Folstein, J., Gauthier, I., & Palmeri, T.J. (2012). Not all morph spaces stretch alike: How category learning affects object perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
  • Purcell, B.A., Schall, J.D., Logan, G.D., & Palmeri, T.J. (2012). From salience to saccades: multiple-alternative gated stochastic accumulator model of visual search. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(10), 3433-3446. 
  • Pouget, P., Logan, G.D., Palmeri, T.J., Boucher, L., & Schall, J.D. (2011). Neural basis of adaptive response time adjustment. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31 (35), 12604-12612. 
  • Purcell, B.A., Heitz, R.P., Cohen, J.Y., Schall, J.D., Logan, G.D., & Palmeri, T.J. (2010). Neurally-constrained modeling of perceptual decision making. Psychological Review, 117, 1113-1143. 
  • Mack, M.L., & Palmeri, T.J. (2010). Decoupling object detection and categorization. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36, 1067-1079. 
  • Wong, A.C.-N., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier I. (2009). Conditions for face-like expertise with objects: Becoming a Ziggerin expert – but which type? Psychological Science, 20, 1108-1117. 
  • Boucher, L., Palmeri, T.J., Logan, G.D., & Schall, J.D. (2007). Inhibitory control in mind and brain: An interactive race model of countermanding saccades. Psychological Review, 114, 376-397. 
  • Palmeri, T.J., Wong, A.C.-N., & Gauthier, I. (2004). Computational approaches to the development of perceptual expertise. Trends in Cognitive Science, 8, 378-386. 
  • Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2004). Visual object understanding. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5, 291-303. 
  • Johansen, M.K., & Palmeri, T.J. (2002). Are there representational shifts during category learning? Cognitive Psychology, 45, 482-553. 
  • Palmeri, T.J., Blake, R.B., Marois, R., Flanery, M.A., & Whetsell, W.O. (2002). The perceptual reality of synesthetic color. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99, 4127-4131. 
  • Palmeri, T.J., & Flanery, M.A. (1999). Learning about categories in the absence of training: Profound amnesia and the relationship between perceptual categorization and recognition memory. Psychological Science, 10, 526-530. 
  • Nosofsky, R.M., & Palmeri, T.J. (1997). An exemplar-based random walk model of speeded classification. Psychological Review, 104, 266-300. 
  • Palmeri, T.J. (1997). Exemplar similarity and the development of automaticity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 23, 324-354.


  • The Chancellor's Award for Research, 2009
  • APA Division of Experimental Psychology New Investigator Award, 1998
  • Irving J. Saltzman Award for Outstanding
  • Graduate Achievement, Indiana University, 1996
  • J.R. Kantor Fellow Graduate Award, Indiana University, 1995
  • Indiana University Cognitive Science Fellowship, 1990
  • B.S. with University Honors, Carnegie Mellon University, 1987
  • Senior University Scholar, Carnegie Mellon University, 1987
  • Wayne Rawley Merit Scholarship (2 years), Carnegie Mellon University, 1985
  • Carnegie Institute of Technology College Scholar, Carnegie Mellon University, 1984
  • University President's Award for Top 100 Student, Carnegie Mellon University, 1984