The Vision & Cognition Lab

at Johns Hopkins University


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Welcome to the Vision & Cognition Lab!

Among other things, we're interested in the limits of visual attention and visual working memory, the psychophysics of numerical estimation, and the interfaces between vision and language. We maintain strong collaborative ties with the Laboratory for Child Development and the Visual Thinking Lab, as well as the larger Vision Sciences Group at JHU.

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PI


Justin Halberda, Professor

Dr. Justin Halberda directs the Vision and Cognition lab, and co-directs the Laboratory for Child Development with Dr. Lisa Figenson. He currently holds appointments in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences (primary) as well as the Department of Cognitive Science. His recent work in this lab is focused on the organization of visual attention and working memory, psychophysical modeling of the human approximate number system, and the semantics of logical vocabulary (e.g., quantifiers).

Curriculum Vitae
231 Ames Hall
email: halberda@jhu.edu

Current Students


Emily is a graduate student who has been working with Dr. Halberda since the fall of 2017. She is interested in studying magnitude systems and the visual number sense using computational models. Prior to graduate school, Emily studied psychology, math, and classical languages at Macalester College.

email: esanfor4@jhu.edu

Emily Sanford

Qian Yu

Qian joined the lab in 2017 and has been working with Dr. Halberda on questions related to the mechanisms underlying visual working memory. Her work on this topic has seen her maintain active collaborations with Dr. Firestone and Dr. Flombaum. Before arriving at JHU, Qian translated popular books (including Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson!) and also worked in Ying-Yi Hong's Culture Lab at the Chinese University of Hong Kong where she explored the Uncanny Valley phenomenon.

email: qianyu@jhu.edu

Postdoctoral Fellows


Originally from Milan, Italy, Nicolò received his PhD in 2016 under Luca Bonatti at Universitat Pompau Fabra in Barcelona, Spain. He joined the Vision Lab in 2018 where he has continued his work on exploring the precursors of logical reasoning in infants.

email: ncesana1@jhu.edu

Nicolò Cesana Arlotti

Lab Manager


Pat Little

Pat joined the lab in the fall of 2018 and studies applied math and cognitive science here at JHU.

email: patlittle@jhu.edu

VCL Alumni



Josh graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2015 with undergraduate degrees in Cognitive Science and Philosophy. Before working in the VCL, Josh spent a year in Madrid, Spain teaching English to high school students as part of a Fulbright grant. His interests include computational models, use of technology as a vehicle for cognitive interventions, and the structure of concepts. He served as lab manager from 2016 until 2018 when he left the lab to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

email: me@josh-langfus.com

Josh Langfus

Tyler Knowlton


Tyler graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2015 with a B.A. in Cognitive Science and served as the Lab Manager from 2014 to 2016. Currently, he's pursuing his PhD in Linguistics at University of Maryland, College Park and is interested in psycholinguistics, semantics, and language acquisition. Check out his Personal Website

Hrag defended his dissertation, "Costs of Manipulating Information in Visual Working Memory" in July 2015. In it, he focused on the following questions: is the limit for manipulating information independent of that for storing information and are original representations updated or do they remain separate once they have been subjected to a given computation? To this end, he has developed a novel method - the Flicker paradigm - which allows for storage constraints to be studied within the context of how VWM is flexibly used in the real world. He is currently a Postdoctoral fellow under George Alvarez in Harvard's Vision Sciences Laboratory.
Check out his Personal Website

Hrag Pailian

Darko Odic


Dr. Darko Odic was a graduate student in the lab from 2009 to 2014. He defended his dissertation, "Objects and Substances in Vision, Language, and Development", in 2014. He's currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where he is the PI of the Centre for Cognitive Development.
Check out his Personal Website


Dr. Hee Yeon Im defended her dissertation, "An exploration of ensemble visual processing through perception, attention, and memory", in 2013. Since then, she has worked as a Postdoctoral fellow in the Song lab at Brown University and is currently a Postdoctoral fellow in the Kveraga Lab at Harvard Medical School.

Hee Yeon Im

Melissa Libertus


Dr. Melissa Libertus was a Postdoctoral fellow in the lab from 2010-2013. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology department at University of Pittsburgh, where she directs the Kids' Thinking Lab.

Check out her Lab Website


Robert graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2013 with a B.S. in Computer Science and fearlessly managed the lab for 3 years. He is currently pursuing a joint MD/Ph.D. at the University of Flordia College of Medicine.

Robert Eisinger

Ryan Ly


Ryan graduated from Johns Hopkins with a B.A. in Neuroscience and an M.S.E. in Computer Science and served as the lab's inaugural manager. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Princeton University.


☞ And countless undergraduate research assistants, programmers, and collaborators who've contributed to our success over the years! ☜