Leon Lou

Leon Lou

Associate Professor - Cognitive Psychology/Perception

  • B.A., Fudan University
  • M.S., Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

Office: 2313 Au Sable Hall

Phone: (616) 331-2916

Email: [email protected]




Courses Taught

PSY 361 - Perception
PSY 492 - Advanced General Capstone

Research Interests

My research is currently focused on issues related to the duality of visual perception----seeing of viewpoint and illumination specific attributes (the proximal mode), and seeing of object properties that are independent of the viewpoint and illumination. Whereas contemporary vision research have largely focused on the distal mode, the proximal mode is an import part of observational depiction (i.e., drawing and painting from life and real scenes). Partly influenced by my previous researches on the effects of selective attention on visual perception, I am working on a theory of observational depiction that encompasses both modes of seeing. My research involves both surveying artists' shared working experience and experimentation aimed at understanding the conditions that are conducive to errors of depiction.

Representative Publications

(Some of these papers can be downloaded for personal use. If you would like permission to use a reprint for a book or course pack, please contact the publisher)

Lou L. (In preparation). Constancy of canonical bias in perceiving pictorial shapes

Lou, L. (2020). Size Inflation in Drawing from Mirror and Proportional Accuracy in Observational Drawing, Perception, 49(7), 749-770. DOI: 10.1177/0301006620933147

Lou, L. (2019). Three Attractors in Painting from Observation: The Distal, the Proximal, and the Affective, Presented at the Representational Art Conference, Ventura, California

Lou, L. (2018). Artists’ innocent eye as extended proximal mode of vision, Art and Perception, 6 (1), 1-40. DOI: 10.1163/22134913-00002100

Lou, L. (2018). Towards an Experimental Psychological Pedagogy of Observational Depiction, Presented at the Representational Art Conference, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Lou, L. (2018). Head-to-Mirror Proportion Error Decreases in Self-Portraits that Include Background Objects, Presented at the 4th Visual Science of Arts Conference, Trieste, Italy

Lou. L (2017). Teaching Scientific Laws with Gestalt Laws, Presented at the Vancouver International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology.

Lou, L. (2016). What could an artist's innocent eye mean, psychologically speaking? Presented at the 4th Visual Science of Arts Conference, Barcelona, Spain

Lou, L. (2015). Towards a dual-modal theory of seeing in visual depiction. Presented at the 3rd Visual Science of Arts Conference, Liverpool, Britain

Lou, L. (2014). What is the Pictorial Mode of Seeing? Presented at the 2nd Visual Science of Arts Conference, Belgrade, Serbia

Lou, L. (2014). Can Political Orientation be Perceived from Faces? Presented at the 2nd Conference of Psychology and Social Harmony, SuZhou, China

Lou, L. (2008). Troxler effect with dichoptic stimulus presentations: Evidence for binocular inhibitory summation and interocular suppression. Vision Research, 48(14), 1514-1521.

Lou, L. (2007). Apparent afterimage size, Emmert's law and oculomotor adjustments, Perception, 36, 1214-1228.

Lou, L., & Chen, J. (2003) Attention and blind-spot phenomenology, Psyche: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Consciousness, 9(2)

Lou, L. (2001). Effects of voluntary attention on structured afterimages. Perception, 30(12), 1439-1448.

Osman, A., Lou, L., Muller-Gethmann, H., Rinkenauer, G., Mattes, S., & Ulrich, R. (2000). Mechanisms of speed-accuracy tradeoff:  Evidence from covert motor processes. Biological Psychology, 51(2-3), 173-199

Lou, L. (1999). Selective peripheral fading: Evidence for inhibitory sensory effect of attention. Perception, 28(4), 519-526.

Lou, L. (1999). Selective peripheral fading: How attention leads to loss of visual consciousness. In[S. R. HameroffA. W. KaszniakD. Chalmers Eds.] Toward a Science of Consciousness: The Third Tucson Debates and Discussions, MIT Press pp189-196.


Page last modified July 14, 2023