Simona Lleras Buetti

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Visual attention, emotion-cognition interactions, response interference effects, and individual differences.

Professional Information

My research focuses on visual attention and emotion-cognition interactions. I am also interested in individual differences, specifically, in individuals who vary in terms of their personality and emotional temperament (normal, at-risk for depression, at-risk for mania, at-risk for phobia). I use a variety of methodologies and approaches: behavioral psychophysics, eye-tracking, computational modeling, electrodermal activity measurements, and visual perimetry. Some of my recent work focuses on how cognitive load and task difficulty impact visual distractibility and visual sensitivity. In our lab, we are also studying visual search with a particular focus on parallel vision. Our approach combines computational simulations, behavioral psychophysics, and eye- tracking to study the temporal dynamics of early visual processing. Using this approach, we try to predict performance in complex scenes based on performance observed in simpler contexts. Finally, I am also interested in the effects of perceived control (real and illusory) on emotion processing and attentional control.


ResearchGate Link

Vision Lab


  • PhD. from the University of Geneva (Switzerland)

Honors & Awards

Awarded a 2019 research grant from the National Science Foundation (Behavioral and Cognitive Science Division, award number: 1921735). Role: PI. Title:  CompCog: Template Contrast and Saliency (TCAS) Toolbox: a tool to visualize parallel attentive evaluation of scenes.

Awarded a 2016 research grant from the BRIDGE Birmingham-Illinois partnership initiative.

Awarded the 2014 NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, Brain & Behavior research Foundation


Psyc230 Perception and Sensory Processes (face-to-face: Fall and Spring; Online: Winter and Summer) 

Psyc396 The Attentive Mind

Global Eduction and Training (GET) in the context of the Engeneering Research Summer School

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