Marcel and Ben will give a talk about our research on individual eye movements and perception at Mathematikum. The talk aims at a general audience admission is free and everyone welcome! If you're interested, come to Mathematikum, Nov 23, 7pm.

Ben @ Bournemoth


Ben gave a zoom talk on face perception at Bournemoth University, following an invitation by Matteo Toscani.


Max and Ben found that inter-individual differences in the tendency to fixate the head vs. body region of people generalise from images to videos. For details, check out their paper, data & code!


Max and Ben found consistent inter-individual differences in the way we fixate people in images. This study also comes with over 6.000 hand-drawn pixel masks for body parts in natural scenes, which you can download for free. For details, check out their paper, data & code!


Susanne Stoll teamed up with Ben, Elisa Infanti and Sam Schwarzkopf to elaborate on the type of pitfalls that have led to Ben's retraction of a population receptive field (pRF) paper. If you want to learn about regression to the mean, egression from the mean, the effects of cross-thresholding and all the other reasons you shouldn't use the same data for defining inclusion criteria and testing hypotheses - check out the paper, data & code!


Marcel, Max, Tamara (former RA) and Ben teamed up with Meike Ramon to study the gaze behavior of so-called Super Recognizers - individuals who are extremely good at face recognition. Their study showed that Super Recognisers not only tend to look more at faces in scenes, they also do so in a specific way. Compared to controls, Super Recognisers fixate closer to a point just below the eyes, which has previously been identified as the ideal fixation location for extracting discriminable information from a face. If this sounds interesting to you, please check out the paper, code and data.

Marcel wins Young Talent Communicator Award


Marcel has been awarded the Young Talent Communicator Prize of the Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior for his eyetracking booth at Mathematikum, combining research and science communication in a unique way. Check out JLU's press release for details (german). Congratulations, Marcel!

Welcome, Tasfia!


Tasfia Ahsan is a PhD student from York University (Toronto, Ca) and visits the Indivisual lab for a one-month research stay. In her work with supervisor Erez Freud, she found that illusory depth can modulate perceptual precision. During her time in Giessen, Tasfia would like to find out whether this effect is mediated by eye movements. Welcome, Tasfia!

VSS 2022


The lab had a fantastic experience at their first in-person conference at VSS 2022. We saw dolphins, talks and posters and met vision scientists from all over the world. If you signed up for downloading one of our posters, you're at the right place. Here's

Diana's poster showing that Learned interpretations of ambiguous drawings affect response times in a familiar-size Stroop task,

Petra's poster asking Does individual gaze lead to individual visual representations?,

Marcel's poster on Using observer similarity matrices to understand individual differences in gaze behaviour towards objects in complex scenes and

Max's poster on The relation between individual fixation biases towards faces and inanimate objects.


Diana just published her first paper on The influence of familiarity on memory for faces and mask wearing in Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. Diana found that it's harder to remember the occurence of faces if they wear a mask and if they are unfamiliar. It's also harder to remember whether an unfamiliar face wore a mask or not. These findings suggest a memory bottleneck for contact tracing, which is more severe when people don't know each other well. As usual, you can find the data and code online, including familiarity ratings and masked versions for the Celebrities in Frontal Profile (CFP) data set. Congratulations Diana!


Marcel's public eyetracking experiment at mathematikum, was featured by regional TV station Sat.1 Hessen. You can watch the feature here (german).


Diana (Kollenda) won the 1st prize of this years TeaP poster competition! Her poster on 'Seeing it differently: The AmbigObj stimulus-set depicting ambiguous drawings of small-large and animate-inanimate object pairs' presents a new stimulus set of ambiguous shapes, which Diana produced, validated and used for a first study with intriguing results. We're immensely proud of Diana's creativity, cleverness, dedication and success! Check out Diana's poster for more.


As part of his PhD, Marcel works towards the ambitious goal of collecting a massive benchmark sample of individual gaze behavior during free viewing. He and Ben teamed up with mathematikum, a popular science museum in Giessen to developed an interactive exhibit. This enables visitors to take part in a real experiment and learn about gaze in a unique way. The 'eyetracking booth' was officially opened today and already attracted over 500 participants during the preceeding pilot stage (hooray!). You can read more about the project in the press release or this newspaper article (german).


The DFG decided to fund the third period of the CRC Cardinal Mechanisms of Perception. Ben and Katha Dobs will lead the new project on Factors shaping categorical face processing. Ben is also co-PI on the INF project for code and data sharing. Hooray!


Erez Freud kindly invited Ben to present our work at the Centre for Vision Research at York University, Canada. You can watch the talk on YouTube.


Ben is very grateful to Sharon Gilaie-Dotan for inviting him to be a speaker on the Bar Ilan Vision Science Seminar - alongside some of his scientific heroes! The talk and discussion were much fun and you can check them out on YouTube.


Ben, Max and Marcel (including his brain!) were visited by Science Reporter Maurice Kontz, who interviewed Ben for Hessen schafft You can follow their conversation on individual perception, eyemovements and brain imaging on YouTube (German).


Ben was kindly invited by Arezoo Pooresmaeili to present our work on individual perception at the European Neuroscience Institute, Göttingen, Germany.


It's grant reaping season! The HMWK decided to fund The adaptive mind. TAM brings together researchers from Experimental Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Artificial Intelligence from several universitites. We aim to understand how the human mind successfully adapts to changing conditions, and what happens when these adaptive processes fail. Ben is co-PI on projects on sensory processing in ASD and overgeneralization in persisting fear, as well as the project-wide Data Hub.


One of the main strategies in the fight against CoViD-19 is Test and Trace. Data scientists have highlighted a main challenge to this approach: Classic contact tracing may be too slow to keep up with the infection dynamics of CoViD-19. However, there is an additional challenge, which is less well understood. For accurate reporting, interviewees have to remember all their contacts, sometimes going as far back as two weeks. What is the memory bottleneck for contact tracing? Ben and Max have developed a study idea to find out, which just received funding from the DFG.


ABC journalist Natasha Mitchell interviewed Ben, Susanne Stoll and Alan Love on the role of failures in Science for her Science Friction podcast.

Ben gave a talk at the University of London


Bahador Bahrami kindly invited Ben to present our work on What are you looking at? at the Institute of Philosophy, which is part of the University of London's School of Advanced Study.


Diana (Weissleder, can't have enough Dianas!) wrote a very cogent explanation of her BSc thesis for Bahador Bahrami's blog. Diana worked with Max and Ben to test whether friends show more similar gaze behavior than strangers. Check out her blog post!


Susanne Stoll tried to replicate methods from one of Ben's PhD papers and discovered a potential flaw in the analysis. Ben went back to the old data, confirmed the problem and retracted his original publication (retraction notice). He and some of his colleagues joined Susanne in an effort to explain the (surprisingly complicated) problem in a technical paper (preprint), so that others won't have to repeat his mistake. Sam Schwarzkopf wrote a blog post about the ordeal, Retraction Watch featured it as 'doing the right thing' and Ben shared his thoughts on curiosity and correcting our errors in an invited commentary in Nature.

Max gave a talk at Fribourg


Max presented his work on Intra- and interindividual differences in person perception at the AFC Lab Talk Series hosted by Meike Ramon (University of Fribourg).

Ben gave a talk at Stanford


Ben presented our work on 'Where' in the ventral stream at the Stanford Vision Brunch.

Marcel gave a talk at Fribourg


Marcel presented his work on Evidence for atypical semantic visual salience in Super Recognizers at AFC Lab Talk Series hosted by Meike Ramon (Univeristy of Fribourg)

Ben gave a talk at Berkeley


The gods of Zoom provide us with the opportunity to present our work afar, despite the distance and the virus. Ben kicked off with a talk on 'Where' in the ventral stream at the Neuroimaging Seminar Series hosted by Sonia Bishop's lab at UC Berkeley.


Marcel used the OSIE dataset to develop a short test of gaze behaviour and found that some dimensions of individual gaze biases can be estimated from less than 5 minutes worth of eyetracking data. This will help us and other researchers to probe individual gaze in a much more time-efficient manner, which is especially important for research involving children and other vulnerable individuals. Marcel published this as his very first paper, which just appeared in Journal of Vision. Congrats, Marcel! Also, special thanks to Dr. Stefanie Mueller and the ZPID PsychLab offline for collecting the validation data. The paper, code and data are all open access, so go ahead and use it =)

We're online!


the group homepage is live - welcome to =)

JLU Award for Ben


Ben received the Justus Liebig University Giessen Award for his research on individual perception.

INDIVISUAL funded by the ERC!


Ben received a 1.5M€ starting grant from the European Research Council to start a lab on individual perception at JLU (press release and newspaper article in german). Hooray!


The PNAS podcast featured Ben and his findings on individual differences in gaze behaviour


Our paper on individual differences in gaze behaviour was covered by inside science and MDR (german public radio). Also see our press release here (german).