Lab members

Sam Schwarzkopf

Sam did a neuroscience degree at Cardiff University and subsequently decided to stay there also to do his PhD with Frank Sengpiel where he used optical imaging to investigate experience-dependent plasticity of visual cortex. Subsequently, he did a brief postdoc project at the University of Birmingham, where he moved into human neuroimaging and cognitive neuroscience. In 2008, he moved to University College London to postdoc with Geraint Rees and developed a research interest in individual differences. In 2012, he was awarded a ERC Starting Grant and set up his own lab at UCL. In 2017, he decided he had enough of Brexit, crowds, air pollution, and the banana republic that the UK had become and moved to the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, although he still maintains an active affiliation at UCL.

Man-Ling Ho

Man-Ling (Mandy) was a PhD student in the lab at UCL. She completing her PhD in June 2021. Her doctoral project focused on using brain imaging to reconstruct how people subjectively perceive visual stimuli starting from simple visual illusions of object size and relating this to the representation of stimulus position. She also compared various psychophysical methods to understand how we can best measure an individual’s perceptual experience. As part of her research, she also collaborated with John Greenwood’s Eccentric Vision lab.

Susanne Stoll

Susanne is a PhD student conducting her doctoral studies in the lab at UCL. Her project investigates the neural processes underlying subjective perceptual grouping and spatial attention. She also developed methods for reconstructing perceptual states from fMRI data, and understanding common statistical artifacts with this type of analysis. She originally visited the lab for a few months as an MSc student from the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. During this time, she investigated individual differences in colour perception and perceptual grouping processes using multi-stable stimuli and pRF analysis.

Poutasi Watson B Urale

Poutasi is a PhD student at the University of Auckland. His doctoral research primarily investigates visual size illusions, testing the underlying neural mechanisms with psychophysical studies and what physiological markers (e.g. eye-movements and pupillometry) can reveal about our subjective perception. He is also studying how these illusions affect action, using both computer-based lab tasks and real-world experiments. Moreover, he conducts brain imaging experiments on the neural mechanisms of perceptual filling-in.

Ecem Altan

Ecem is a PhD student at the University of Auckland funded by a Marsden research grant to Steven Dakin on which Sam is an AI. Her research uses functional imaging to investigate the link between visual acuity, perceived stimulus size, and spatial sensitivity of visual cortex. She previously investigated the spatial extent of the size aftereffect for her Master’s project at Bilkent University.

Gene Tang

Gene (Thanaphon Tangtartharakul) is a summer research project student from the School of Psychology. His project will compare retinotopic maps generated from cortico-cortical functional connectivity (connective field maps) with those obtained with more conventional population receptive field analysis.



Dr Elisa Infanti – Elisa was a postdoc and a teaching fellow at UCL. Her research in the lab focussed on the role of temporal and contextual information in shaping subjective visual perception.

Dr Haiyang Jin – Haiyang was a PhD student with Paul Corballis at UoA, cosupervised by Sam. His work studied holistic face perception.

Dr Alexandra Kalpadakis-Smith – Alex was a PhD student with John Greenwood at UCL, cosupervised by Sam. Her doctoral thesis investigated crowding in amblyopia.

Mathias Van der Biest – A master student of experimental psychology at Ghent University who visited Sam’s lab at UoA for half a year. During his stay he ran several psychophysical experiments in a Virtual Reality setting.

Dr Nonie Finlayson – Nonie was a postdoc at UCL who studied the heritability of retinotopic maps and spatial heterogeneity in visual perception. Another of her research interests is the processing of stereoscopic depth.

Dr Benjamin de Haas – Ben was a postdoc at UCL, later supported by an independent DfG fellowship. He had his fingers in many projects but his primary interests revolved around the neural processing of facial features and individual differences in eye gaze.

Harshil Patel – Did his 3rd year research project in the lab studying cross-cultural differences in visual illusions.

Shwe Ei – Did her 3rd year research project in the lab studying the heritability of visual processing.

Alexi Iakovidis – Supervised by Ben de Haas, Alexi did a research project investigating individual differences in gaze behaviour and how they relate to personality.

Sanja Klein – Did an internship supervised by Ben de Haas to study individual differences in the recognition of letter strings.

Victorita Neacsu – Did a research project as part of her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience. She investigated spatial heterogeneity in the perception of ambiguous visual images.

Kelda Manser-Smith – Did a research project as part of her MSc in Research Methods. Her experiments tested methods our group developed for measuring perceptual biases whilst controlling for cognitive confounds.

Nick Evans – Did a research as part of his intercalated medical degree. His psychophysical experiments compared objective and subjective size perception.

Dr Christina Moutsiana – Christina was a postdoc (also partially in Tali Sharot’s lab). Her research investigated the neural correlates of size perception and conducted a case-study on a patient with unexplained vision loss.

Andriani Papageorgiou – Studied for a MSc Neuroscience and did a research project comparing attentional modulation of size perception.

Gurmukh Panesar – Did a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and conducted a preliminary research project investigating neural correlates of perceptual grouping in visual cortex.

Rebecca Tyrwhitt-Drake – Studied for a MSci in Brain, Behaviour and Cognition. Her research project compared pRF maps from human visual cortex measured with modal and amodal completion stimuli.

Jelle van Dijk – Studied for a MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and did his research project on the test-retest reliability of pRF maps in human visual cortex.

Annika Balraj – Visited UCL from George Washington University. During her stay she evaluated the efficiency and reliability of new psychophysical methods for measuring perceptual biases.

Theodora Banica – Did her research project as part of her a Dual Master course in Brain and Mind Sciences. Her experiments investigated unconscious processing of illusory contours (Kanizsa figures).

Charlotte Wilks – Did a MSc Neuroscience and her research project used perceptual learning of orientation discrimination to investigate the relationship between objective and subjective performance.




Dr Catherine Morgan (UoA)
Prof Steven Dakin
Dr John Greenwood (UCL)
Dr Tessa Dekker (UCL)
Prof Geraint Rees (UCL)
Prof Sheng Li (Peking University)
Prof Derek Arnold (UQ Brisbane)
Dr Alex Puckett (UQ Brisbane)
Prof Simon Rushton (Cardiff University)
Prof Sarah Weigelt (TU Dortmund)
Dr Benjamin de Haas (JL Uni Giessen)
Dr Francesca Fardo (Aarhus University)
Dr Micah Allen (Aarhus University)