Understanding visual experience: The visual perception of 3D shape, material, and colour


My lab is dedicated to understanding what shapes our visual experience of the world. Our goal is to discover the information that the brain uses to extract meaningful properties of the world, and to use these insights to manipulate our perceptual experience. Unlike most areas of psychology, our results can usually be universally experienced, and we have had great success in generating a host of illusions that have shed light on how the human visual system works.


Professor Barton Anderson

Research Location

School of Psychology

Program Type



We are currently working on a number of related projects that are designed to discover how your brain seems to effortlessly recover structure and material properties of the world from the images that reach your eyes. This is an extraordinarily complicated problem, and attracts some of the best minds in machine intelligence and machine vision as well as psychology. Our lab focuses on construction and manipulating graphical interfaces to develop and test theories of visual functioning, and we have had continued success in publishing our work in some of the most prestigious outlets in science, biology, and psychology.

Additional Information

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include: 

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree; 
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.); 
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision; 
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting); 
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks; 
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden); 
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights; 
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment); 
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence; 
- Hold a current scuba diving license; 
- Hold a current Working with Children Check; 
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.) 

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Visual perception; illusions; colour; lightness; transparency; translucency; depth; shape; blur; perceptual organization; grouping; illusory contours; illusory surfaces; theories of perception; realism.

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2471