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Lab Head



Bilge Sayim, Ph.D., PD

Bilge studied Psychology and Computer Science at Kiel University and at the University of California in San Diego. After a Master thesis on color vision, he joined the Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience at the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he investigated spatial vision in Prof. Michael Herzog's laboratory, and graduated with a dissertation on grouping and Gestalt in visual contextual modulation. Following postdoctoral research with Prof. Patrick Cavanagh in Paris, and Prof. Johan Wagemans at the KU Leuven, he was Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He is currently head of the Psychophysics of Appearance Laboratory at the Institute of Psychology, University of Bern, and research scientist in the SCALab at the Université de Lille, CNRS, France.

Postdoc researchers

Postdoctoral Researchers


Sabrina Hansmann-Roth, Ph.D.

Sabrina’s training was in Biology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. She obtained her Ph.D. in 2016 from the Université Paris Descartes under supervision of Dr. Pascal Mamassian. Her thesis entitled “Contextual effect in human gloss perception” investigated the perception of gloss using various perceptual scaling methods such as MLDS and MLCM. She continued as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Iceland working together with Prof. Arni Kristjansson and Dr. Andrey Chetverikov (Donders Institute for Brain and Cognition) to study the implicit encoding of probabilistic visual information using a novel method called Feature distribution learning, developed in the lab. Her research focuses on ensemble perception, serial dependence and decision making, besides her continuous interest in material perception. She is now joining the SCALab at the University of Lille to work with Prof. Bilge Sayim on a collaborative project together with Dr. Wolf Harmening at the University of Bonn.

Doctoral students

Doctoral Students


Fazilet Zeynep Yildirim, M.Sc.

Zeynep obtained her M.Sc. in Neuroscience from Bilkent University in 2016. During her Master’s, she investigated the effects of audiovisual associations on visual motion perception using fMRI and EEG methods. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Bern, where she studies diminished visual perception in the crowded peripheral vision. Her Ph.D. work focuses on a novel phenomenon called “redundancy masking” in which entire items within repeating patterns are unavailable for conscious report.

More about Zeynep |


Koen Rummens, M.Sc.

Koen graduated in 2017 from the University of Leuven, where he completed the Theory and Research Master in Psychology. During his internship in the lab of Prof. Peter Kuppens, he looked into the role of personality on the temporal dynamics of emotions and emotion regulation strategies. In his Master's thesis, supervised by Prof. Bilge Sayim, he investigated whether the uncrowding of word segments by contrast polarity increased peripheral reading performance. Currently, as a Ph.D. candidate, he focusses on the relation between crowding and reading performance by means of psychophysics and eye-tracking studies.


Miao Li, M.Sc.

Miao received her M.Sc. in Cognitive Neuropsychology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2018. During her Master's, she investigated the role of long-term memory in time perception, and finished a master thesis entitled "From past experience to future anticipation: neuro correlates for temporal preparation." Currently, she is a joint Ph.D. student at the Université de Lille and KU Leuven campus Kulak under the supervision of Prof. Bilge Sayim and Prof. Bert Reynvoet. She investigates visual perception and numerical cognition using psychophysics methods. Her Ph.D. project is about exploring the role of visual crowding in perceived numerosity.

More about Miao |


Dandan Yu, M.Sc.

Dandan is a Ph.D. student at the Université de Lille. She is interested in the research of emotion perception under crowding. She originally graduated from the Xiamen University and the Institute of Psychology in the Chinese Academy of Sciences where she earned her Master’s degree in Development and Education. During her studies, she investigated how predictable threat stimuli affected anxiety and investigated the neural responses to rapid facial expressions using MEG technology. Additionally, she worked as a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Yanjie Su at Peking University where she participated in “empathy research”. Currently, she focuses on investigating the “ensemble perceptions” of facial expressions.

More about Dandan |


Ângela Gomes Tomaz, M.Sc.

Ângela Tomaz co-graduated from the University of Minho and University of Lille with a masters degree in Psychology and a masters in Psychology of Neurocognitive Processes and Affective Sciences. In her master’s thesis, she investigated the processing of synonyms and translations in the bilingual mind under the supervision of Prof. Montserrat Comesaña, Prof. Ana Paula Soares and Prof. Séverine Casalis. During her masters, Ângela was a research collaborator in the research group in Psycholinguistics (CIPsi, University of Minho) and completed a brief internship in the research group of Prof. Bilge Sayim. During her internship, she was involved in a project to investigate the processing of emotional stimuli in crowding. Currently, she is a PhD student investigating visual perception and appearance.

More about Ângela |

Affiliated members


Daniel R. Coates, Ph.D.

Dan's original training was in Mathematics and Computer Science at Macalester College. After spending a decade working as a software developer, he received a master's degree in computer science studying artificial intelligence and neural networks with Prof. Melanie Mitchell and Prof. Dan Hammerstrom at Portland State University. Studying vision as a prototypical neural processing system led directly to the Vision Science Graduate Program at UC Berkeley, researching letter recognition and crowding with Prof. Susana Chung. Most recently, he has broadened his approach to include perceptual organization and mid-level vision, as a postdoctoral fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation in the lab of Prof. Johan Wagemans at KU Leuven (Belgium). He was a postdoctoral researcher in the Psychophysics of Appearance Laboratory in Bern, developing appearance-based approaches to the study of peripheral vision. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry.

email: | CV | Publications | Google Scholar

Affiliated members

Ivana Franke

Ivana is a visual artist based in Berlin. In her works, largely installations, Ivana often uses ambiguous visual phenomena and arresting spatial structures which she orchestrates to expose disjunctions and unexpected connections within the spatiotemporal realm we inhabit. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines like vision science, mathematics, optics and architecture, Ivana challenges our habitual perception. As an affiliated member of the Psychophysics of Appearance Lab, she works on several projects investigating the limits of perception.

Current and Past Collaborators
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