I am an Assistant Professor in the University of Delaware's Department of Psychology and head of the Perception and Learning Lab. We study human cognition using neuroimaging and behavioral experiments. Pending the Fall 2015 opening of a new multimodal imaging center at the University of Delaware (including 3T human MRI), we conduct fMRI research at University of Maryland, College Park's Marlyand Neuroimaging Center.
From 2008-2012, I conducted research in the lab of Dr. Marvin Chun at Yale University. From 2003-2008, I was a graduate student at Harvard University in the Department of Psychology (Dr. Yuhong Jiang's Visual Cognition lab and the Harvard Vision Sciences Lab). My undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Psychology is from Vanderbilt University (B.S., 2002), where I worked with Dr. Thomas Palmeri, Dr. Isabel Gauthier, and Dr. Randolph Blake.
My research is devoted to understanding the cognitive and neural basis of learning, particularly with respect to the visual system and reinforcement learning systems. I study how learning can modify perception and how we learn from experience with reinforcement and punishment to make better decisions. Currently, the focus of my research is understanding how the visual system and reward-learning mechanisms of the brain may interact and influence one another. Other related interests include the role of attention in learning and implicit visual learning.
Another long-standing interest of mine is the perception of structure in visual scenes. I have studied perceptual grouping and the distortion of perceived space that seems to occur within objects.
Published or in press:
Cartmell, S.C., Chun, M.M., & Vickery, T.J. (2013). Neural antecedents of social decision-making in a partner choice task. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience. [LINK, Epub ahead of print]
Bukach, C.M., Vickery, T.J., Kinka, D., & Gauthier, I. (2012). Training experts: Individuation without naming is worth it. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(1): 14-17. [LINK]
Vickery, T.J., Chun, M.M., & Lee, D. (2011). Ubiquity and specificity of reinforcement signals throughout the human brain. Neuron, 72(1): 166-177. [LINK]
Vickery, T.J., Chun, M.M. (2010). Object-based warping: An illusory distortion of space within objects. Psychological Science, 21(12): 1759-1764. [LINK].
Vickery, T.J., Sussman, R.S., & Jiang, Y.V. (2010). Spatial context learning survives interference from working memory load. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(6): 1358-1371. [PDF].
Shim, W.M., Alvarez, G.A., Vickery, T.J., & Jiang, Y.V. (2010). The Number of Attentional Foci and Their Precision Are Dissociated in the Posterior Parietal Cortex. Cerebral Cortex. [PDF].
Vickery, T.J., & Jiang, Y.V. (2009). Associative grouping: Perceptual grouping of shapes by association. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 71 (4), pp. 896-909 [PDF]. [This article was chosen by the editors for AP&P's "Best Article of 2009" award.]
Vickery, T.J., & Jiang, Y.V. (2009). Inferior parietal lobule supports decision-making under uncertainty in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 19(4):916-925. [Link].
Vickery, T.J. (2008). Induced perceptual grouping. Psychological Science, 19(7): 693-701. [PDF]. [Demos coming soon].
Jiang, Y., Kuman, A., & Vickery, T.J. (2005). Integrating sequential arrays in visual short-term memory. Experimental Psychology, 52: 39-46. [PDF].