Principal Investigator

Emily J. Ward [CV]
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Emily is interested in the nature of conscious experience and the neural representations that underlie perception. Before coming to UW-Madison, she received her Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at Yale and then spent a year as a Visiting Researcher at the Donders Institute in the Netherlands. Before Yale, she studied spatial cognition as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania and received her B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Graduate Students

Y. Ivette Colón [homepage]
Graduate Student
Ivette is interested in the concept of familiarity and its role in visual perception, social behavior, and the underlying neural and computational mechanisms that support these processes. They received their B.S. in Cognitive Science with a specialization in Computational Modeling from The University of Texas at Dallas. Ivette has been a research specialist in the lab of Dr. Alice O’Toole, studying convolutional neural networks trained for face recognition, before joining the Visual Cognition Lab at UW. They are also affiliated with the Niedenthal Emotions Lab. 

Mohan Ji
Graduate Student
Mohan is broadly interested in visual perception and perceptual learning using video games as a media. He received his B.S. in psychology from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and went on to pursue his Ph.D. at University of Wisconsin-Madison co-advised by Dr. C. Shawn Green and Dr. Emily J. Ward. 


Siddharth Suresh
Graduate Student
Siddharth’s research interests lie in the confluence of cognitive science, computer vision and machine learning. He was a research intern at the Serre Lab during 2018 after which he joined VMware as an R&D intern in 2019. In the lab, he is studying the underlying principles of visual perception. In his free time, you can find him with his guitar – singing and writing songs, reading or playing a game of table tennis. 


Olivia O’Brien
Research Assistant
Olivia is a freshman studying neurobiology and philosophy. In the lab, she is studying failures of awareness and contextual cueing.



Hannah Kreuser
Research Assistant
Hannah is a sophomore studying Neurobiology, Mathematics, and Spanish. In the lab, she’s interested in the mathematical analysis of consciousness and perception. In her free time, Hannah enjoys playing with the UW-Madison drumline, reading, and watching movies.


Previous Lab Members

Adam Barnas
Visual Cognition Lab: Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2021); 

After UW: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Florida, Psychology Dept, Weisberg Lab

While in the lab from 2020 – 2021, Adam explored predictors of failures of awareness. Even though people are overconfident in their ability to notice changes to scenes, Adam discovered that participants are surprisingly accurate at judging which changes they will notice and which they will not. 

Jessie Hwang
Research Assistant




Holly Wegenger
Research Assistant 




Cole Cimoch
Research Assistant




Jesse Ward
Research Assistant