Jenn Richler, Ph.D.
I am a cognitive psychologist, broadly interested in the cognitive mechanisms involved in visual object recognition, categorization, learning, and memory, and how these processes are modulated by experience and expertise.
I am currently a research associate in the Object Perception Lab and Category Laboratory at Vanderbilt University, associate editor for JEP:General, and I write APA PeePs and Article Spotlight: Experimental Psychology
I enjoy writing about science for a scientist audience, and am always looking for new opportunities in this area.
I live and work in Brooklyn, New York.
The majority of my work has used faces—a category with which we are all experts—to study holistic processing. This behavioral hallmark of perceptual expertise refers to the inability to selectively attend to individual face parts, even when instructed to do so, and even when it is disadvantageous to performance.
I am interested in the mechanism underlying this attentional effect, how it develops from experience, and individual differences.
Object Naming & Memory
In my dissertation work, I examined whether and how naming objects influences subsequent memory for those objects.
In particular, this work challenged the provocative claim that naming an object shifts its representation in memory. Instead, I showed that more general memory principles can explain how naming influences memory.
Individual Differences in Object Recognition
My recent projects are aimed at determining whether there is a single ability that determines how well an individual will be able to learn to discriminate visually similar objects.
One prediction is that this ability is related to face recognition, because we all have a lot of experience and social motivation to hone this skill for this particular category.
31. Ross, D.A., Richler, J.J., & Gauthier, I. (2015). Reliability of composite task measurements of holistic face processing. Behavior Research Methods, 47, 736-743. [pdf]
30. Chua, K.-W., Richler, J.J., & Gauthier, I. (2015). Holistic processing from learned attention to parts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144, 723-729. [pdf]
29. Richler, J.J., Floyd, R.J., & Gauthier, I. (2015). About-face on face recognition ability and holistic processing. Journal of Vision, 15, 1-12. [pdf]
28. Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2015). Holistic processing does not require configural variability. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 974-979. [pdf]
27. Richler, J.J., Floyd, R.J., & Gauthier, I. (2014). The Vanderbilt Holistic Face Processing Test: A short and reliable measure of holistic face processing. Journal of Vision, 14, 1-14. [pdf] [test materials]
26. Richler, J.J., & Gauthier, I. (2014). A meta-analysis and review of holistic face processing. Psychological Bulletin, 140, 1281-1302. [pdf]
25. Gauthier, I., McGugin, R.W., Richler, J.J., Herzmann, G., Speegle, M., & Van Gulick, A.B. (2014). Experience moderates overlap between object and face recognition, suggesting a common ability. Journal of Vision, 14, 1-12. [pdf]
24. Harrison, S.A., Gauthier, I., Hayward, W., & *Richler, J.J. (2014). Other-race effects manifest in overall performance, not qualitative processing style. Visual Cognition, 22, 843-864. [pdf] (*corresponding author)
23. Chua, K.-W., Richler, J.J., & Gauthier, I. (2014). Becoming a Lunari or Taiyo expert: Learned attention to parts drives holistic processing of faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40, 1174-1182. [pdf]
22. Richler, J.J., & Palmeri, T.J. (2014). Visual category learning. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 5, 75-94. [pdf]
21. Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2013). The effects of varying configuration in the composite task support an attentional account of holistic processing. Visual Cognition, 21, 711-715.
20. Richler, J.J., & Gauthier, I. (2013). When intuition fails to align with data: A reply to Rossion (2013). Visual Cognition, 21, 254-276. [pdf]
19. Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2013). How does using object names influence visual recognition memory? Journal of Memory and Language, 68, 10-25. [pdf]
18. Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2012). Meanings, mechanisms, and measures of holistic processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 553. [link]
17. McGugin, R.W., Richler, J.J., Herzmann, G., Speegle, M., & Gauthier, I. (2012). The Vanderbilt Expertise Test reveals domain-general and domain-specific sex effects in object recognition. Vision Research, 69, 10-22. [pdf]
16. Fritz, C.O., Morris, P.E., & Richler, J.J. (2012). Effect size measures: Current use, calculations and interpretation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 2-18. [pdf]
15. Richler, J.J., Cheung, O.S., & Gauthier, I. (2011). Beliefs alter holistic face processing…if response bias is not taken into account. Journal of Vision, 11, 1-13. [pdf]
14. Richler, J.J., Gauthier, I., & Palmeri, T.J. (2011). Automaticity of basic-level categorization accounts for labeling effects in visual recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 37, 1579-1587. [pdf]
13. Cheung, O.S., Richler, J.J., Phillips, W.S., & Gauthier, I. (2011). Does temporal integration of face parts reflect holistic processing? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 476-483. [pdf]
12. Richler, J.J., Wong, Y.K., & Gauthier, I. (2011). Perceptual expertise as a shift from strategic interference to automatic holistic processing. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 129-134. [pdf]
11. Richler, J.J., Cheung, O.S., & Gauthier, I. (2011). Holistic processing predicts face recognition. Psychological Science, 22, 464-471. [pdf]
10. Mack, M.L., Richler, J.J., Gauthier, I., & Palmeri, T.J. (2011). Indecision on decisional separability. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18, 1-9. [pdf]
9. Richler, J.J., Mack, M.L., Palmeri, T.J., & Gauthier, I. (2011). Inverted faces are (eventually) processed holistically. Vision Research, 51, 333-342. [pdf]
8. Mack, M.L., Richler, J.J., Polyn, S., & Palmeri, T.J. (2010). Modelling effects of object naming on long term object recognition memory. Visual Cognition, 18, 1526-1529.
7. Richler, J.J., Mack, M.L., Gauthier, I., & Palmeri, T.J. (2009) Holistic processing of faces happens at a glance. Vision Research, 49, 2856-2861. [pdf]
6. Richler, J.J., Cheung, O.S., Wong, A.C.-N., & Gauthier, I. (2009). Does response interference contribute to face composite effects? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 258-263. [pdf]
5. Richler, J.J., Bukach, C.M., & Gauthier, I. (2009). Context influences holistic processing of non-face objects in the composite task. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 71, 530-540. [pdf]
4. Cheung, O.S., Richler, J.J., Palmeri, T.J. & Gauthier, I. (2008). Revisiting the role of spatial frequencies in the holistic processing of faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 34, 1327-1336. [pdf]
3. Richler, J.J., Tanaka, J.W., Brown, D.D. & Gauthier, I. (2008). Why does selective attention to parts fail in face processing? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 34, 1356-1368. [pdf]
2. Richler, J.J., Gauthier, I., Wenger, M.J. & Palmeri, T.J. (2008). Holistic processing of faces: Perceptual and decisional components. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 34, 328-342. [pdf]
1. Richler, J.J., Mack, M.L., Gauthier, I. & Palmeri, T.J. (2007). Distinguishing between perceptual and decisional sources of holism in face processing. Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 1427-1432. [pdf]
Downloadable materials for tests designed and validated by the Vanderbilt Object Perception Lab for use in individual differences research. These tests are freely available to promote research in this area.
Please cite the reference provided for each test.
Vanderbilt Holistic Processing Test - Faces 2.1
A reliable test of holistic processing of faces, operationalized as a failure of selective attention.
In this version of the VHPT-F, trials that were made incorrectly in version 2.0 have been fixed.
In addition, based on item analyses of data from 525 subjects, we modified 16 trials from version 2.0 that were not correlated with overall condition scores (e.g., congruent trials that were negatively correlated with overall performance on congruent trials).
Images: all image files (including instructions screens) needed to run the test, in the order in which they appear.
Output coding: condition information for each image, and the correct response for test trials in long and wide formats
Richler, J.J., Floyd, R.J., & Gauthier, I. (2014). The Vanderbilt Holistic Face Processing Test: A short and reliable measure of holistic face processing. Journal of Vision, 14, 1-14. [pdf]
APA PeePs (Particularly Exciting Experiments in Psychology) is a free bimonthly summary of ongoing research trends common to six APA journals that focus on experimental Psychology.
The goal of PeePs is to move beyond single article summaries to highlight meaningful connections between articles published in different journals.
These interdisciplinary links between contemporary studies help readers situate research questions in a broader context. PeePs covers both animal and human studies to promote lateral thinking about how to approach a given topic or question.
Issue 62: Anxiety
Issue 61: Goals & Actions
Issue 60: Information Seeking
Issue 59: Visual Spatial Frequency Information
Issue 58: Auditory Category Learning
Issue 57: Evaluating False Claims
Issue 56: Visual Attention
Issue 55: Interference from Native Language
Issue 54: Quantity Discrimination
Issue 53: Face Recognition & Memory
Issue 52: Motivation
Issue 51: Attentional Control
Issue 50: Social Learning
Issue 49: False Memory
Issue 48: Altruism
Issue 47: Awareness
Issue 46: Response Inhibition
Issue 45: Scene Context
Issue 44: Reading Comprehension
Issue 43: Visual Object Perception
Issue 42: Metacognition
Issue 41: Problem Solving
Issue 40: Stress
Issue 39: Self Biases
Issue 38: Risky Decision-Making
Issue 37: Spatial Learning in Rats
Issue 20: Visual Cues & Spatial Reorientation
Issue 19: Training
Issue 18: Communicative Gesture
Issue 17: Shape Perception
Issue 16: Sleep
Issue 15: Scene Perception
Issue 14: Interval Duration
Issue 13: Speech Perception
Issue 12: Auditory Perception
Issue 11: Manual Actions
Issue 10: Emotion & Memory
Issue 9: Predictive Learning
Issue 8: Social Influences on Person Perception
Issue 7: Numerical Cognition
Issue 6: Olfaction
Issue 5: Embodied Cognition
Issue 4: Perceptual Learning
Issue 3: Retrieval-induced Forgetting
Issue 2: Delayed Gratification
Issue 1: Reading and Eye Movements
Article Spotlight: Experimental Psychology
Article Spotlight: Experimental Psychology features summaries of recently published articles from APA's experimental psychology journals. Spotlight highlights one recently published article, chosen by the journal Editor for being particularly noteworthy to the scientific community.
Issue 9: Category generalization in nonhuman primates
Smith, Zakrzewski, Johnston, Roeder, Boomer, Ashby, & Church, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition
Issue 8: Pursuing happiness leads to well-being in cultures where happiness is defined in socially engaged ways
Ford, Dmitrieva, Heller, Chentsova-Dutton, Grossmann, Tamir, Uchida, Koopmann-Holm, Floerke, Uhrig, Bokhan, & Mauss, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue 7: Can a bonobo keep the beat?
Large & Grey, 2015, Journal of Comparative Psychology
Issue 6: Taste perception is influenced by extreme noise conditions
Yan & Dando, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.
Issue 5: Early damage to the amygdala or hippocampus has subtle effects on adult social behavior
Moadab, Bliss-Moreau, & Amaral, 2015, Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue 4: Large-scale analyses of non-word performance provide insight into lexical processing
Yap, Sibley, Balota, Ratcliff, & Rueckl, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue 3: Searching the Internet inflates estimates of internal knowledge
Fisher, Goddu, & Keil, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
Issue 2: Interactions between multiple independent memory systems in pigeons
Roberts, Strang, & Macpherson, 2015, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition
Issue 1: Humans, but not pigeons, use global and local visual information flexibly and adaptively.
Aust & Braunöder, 2015, Journal of Comparative Psychology