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Social and Visual Perception Laboratory.


My work uses techniques derived from psychophysics (e.g. Bubbles; Reverse correlation) to better understand how socio-cultural environment modulates fundamental visual processes, ranging from the extraction of low-level visual information (e.g. sensitivity to spatial frequencies) to the processing of complex visual information (e.g. face, objects, scenes).

Research Interests

  • Impact of culture on visual information extraction

  • Ethnic bias impact on the facial information processing of other ethnicity.

  • Visual mechanisms underlying facial expressions recognition.

  • Impact of culture and prejudices on the processing of the facial expression of pain.



SC2NG director

Caroline Blais

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In the current context of globalization and multiculturalism, it is increasingly important that we understand how our visual and sociocultural environments affect visual perception. Dr. Caroline Blais, Canada Research Chair in in Cognitive and Social Vision, aims to increase this understanding.

Most visual perception studies to date have been conducted on Westerners, with the few cross-cultural ones conducted on only two cultures at a time. But Blais and her research team hope to increase data diversity by studying visual processing and the communication of social signals across different cultural groups.

Significant work

  • Blais, C., Jack, R.E., Scheepers, C., Fiset, D., & Caldara, R. (2008). Culture shapes how we look at faces. PLoS ONE 3(8): e3022.​


  • Blais, C., Roy, C., Fiset, D., Arguin, M., & Gosselin, F. (2012). The eyes are not the window to basic emotions. Neuropsychologia, 50(12), 2830-2838.

  • Tardif, J., Fiset, D., Zhang, Ye, Estéphan, A., Cai, Q, Dan, S., Canhuang, L., Gosselin, F., & Blais, C. (2017). Culture shapes spatial frequency tuning in face identification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 43(2), 294-306.

  • Blais, C., Fiset, D., Roy, C., Saumure Régimbald, C. & Gosselin, F. (2017). Eye Fixation Patterns for Categorizing Static and Dynamic Facial Expressions. Emotion. 17(7), 1107-1119

  • Estéphan, A., Fiset, D., Saumure, C., Plouffe-Demers, M-P., Zhang, Y. Sun, D., & Blais, C. (2018). Measuring the time course of spatial frequency use across cultures. Scientific Reports, 8, 1816, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-19971-1.​


  • Blais, C., Fiset, D., Furumoto-Deshaies, H., Kunz, M., Seuss, D., & Cormier, S. (2019). Facial features underlying the decoding of pain expressions. The Journal of Pain. [PDF]

Laboratory 02

My work aims to understand how the brain and more specifically the occipito-temporal areas use visual information to effectively recognize faces, written words and letters. To this end, I use psychophysical techniques (e.g. Bubbles, Reverse Correlation) as well as electrophysiology (EEG and ERP) to investigate low-level visual properties (e.g. spatial frequencies and orientations) and how they modulate the recognition of stimuli. My studies are done thanks to the collaboration of healthy participants as well as people who have difficulty recognizing faces (prosopagnosia) and written words (alexia or dyslexia).

Research interests

  • Individual differences in face processing.

  • Relationship between face identification and recognition of facial expressions.

  • Other-race effect.

  • Impact of attention in face processing.

  • Visual word and letter recognition


Daniel Fiset

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Significant work

  • Royer, J., Blais, C., Charbonneau, I., Déry K., Tardif, J., Duchaine, B., Gosselin, F., & Fiset, D. (2018). Greater reliance on the eye region predicts better face recognition ability. Cognition, 121- 12-20.


  • Fiset, D., Blais, C., Royer, J., Richoz, A.R., Dugas, G., & Caldara, R. (2017). Mapping the impairment in decoding static facial expression of emotions in prosopagnosia. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 12(8), 1334-1341.


  • Duncan, J., Gosselin, F., Cobarro, C., Dugas, G., Blais, C., & Fiset, D. (2017). Orientations for the successful categorization of facial expressions and their link with facial features. Journal of Vision, 17(14):7, 1–16


  • Tardif, J., Morin-Duchesne, X., Cohan, S., Royer, J., Blais, C., Fiset, D., Duchaine, B., & Gosselin, F. (2019). Use of face information varies systematically from developmental prosopagnosics to super-recognizers. Psychological Science, 30(2), 300-308.


  • Royer, J., Blais, C., Gosselin, F., Duncan, J., & Fiset, D. (2015). When less is more: Impact of face processing ability on recognition of visually degraded faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(5), 1179-1183.


  • Robinson, K., Blais, C., Duncan, J., Forget, H., & Fiset, D. (2014). The dual nature of the human face: There is a little of Jekyll and a little of Hyde in all of us. Frontiers in Psychology, 139-145.


  • Willenbockel, V., Fiset, D., Chauvin, A., Blais, C., Arguin, M., Tanaka, J., Bub, D.N., & Gosselin, F. (2010). Does Face Inversion Change Spatial Frequency Tuning? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(1), 122-135.

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