I am an Assistant Professor in the University of Delaware's Department of Psychology and head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab. We study human cognition using neuroimaging and behavioral experiments. 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 two topics: reward/decision-making and visual perception, employing fMRI and behavior/psychophysics.
Decision-making and Reward
How do we learn to make optimal choices? How do we keep distinct memories for different opponents and contexts in decision-making? What are the influences of rewards and punishments on visual perception and memory? I am interested in learning and memory in decision-making under uncertainty, particularly in contexts in which each decision depends on prior choices and outcomes. I am also interested in how reward and decision-making interact with attention and may influence visual perception and other processes that are not explicitly involved in processing reward.
How does the visual system determine and represent the structure of the scene? What are the consequences of perceptual organization for attention and memory? I have studied perceptual grouping and visual object processing, including the discovery of a novel form of perceptual grouping due to non-local cues ("induced grouping"), a novel form of grouping due to learned association ("associative grouping"), and the distortion of spatial perception by the presence of an object ("object-based warping"). I have also investigated visual crowding (discovering an effect we termed "supercrowding"), as well as visual attention and spatial context learning.
Published or in press:
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.
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. [PDF].
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].