Human Perception Lab


Perceptual Learning: Basic Research and Modeling

This work focuses on high-level perceptual learning, especially research and modeling of human abilities to discover and encode abstract relations (as in perception of a shape, a melody, or in language).

We are also working to relate examples of so-called high-level and low-level perceptual learning – an effort that is tending to show that, following Eleanor Gibson's classic view, selection and discovery of invariance characterize perceptual learning across levels, and even improvements that appear "low-level" and sensory involve substantial contributions of perceptual organization.


  • Philip J. Kellman Philip J. Kellman
  • Everett Mettler Everett Mettler
  • Carolyn Bufford Carolyn Bufford


  • face Christine Massey (Penn)
  • face Hongjing Lu (UCLA)
  • face Patrick Garrigan (SJU)

Selected Publications

Kellman, P.J., & Massey, C.M. (2013) Perceptual learning, cognition, and expertise. In B.H. Ross (Ed.), The Psychology of Learning and Motivation (Vol. 58, 117-165). Amsterdam: Elsevier Inc.
Mettler, E., Massey, C., & Kellman, P. J. (2011) Improving adaptive learning technology through the use of response times. In L. Carlson, C. Holscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2532-2537). Boston, MA: Cognitive Science Society.
Thai, K. P., Mettler, E., & Kellman, P. J. (2011). Basic information processing effects from perceptual learning in complex, real-world domains. In L. Carlson, C. Holscher, & T Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 555-560). Boston, MA: Cognitive Science Society.
Kellman, P. J. & Garrigan, P. B. (2009). Perceptual learning and human expertise. Physics of Life Reviews, 6(2), 53-84.
Garrigan, P.B. & Kellman, P.J. (2008). Perceptual learning depends on perceptual constancy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Vol. 105, No. 6, 2248-2253.
Kellman, P.J. (2002). Perceptual learning.In R. Gallistel (Ed.), Stevens' handbook of experimental psychology, Third edition, Vol. 3 (Learning, motivation and emotion), John Wiley & Sons, 259-299.