Research Themes


Face and Object Recognition

Other Race Effect



Current Research

Face and Object Recognition

One explanation for category specificity in the brain is that some biologically relevant categories are specialized for particular kinds of content. Research supports this explanation and shows selectivity for object categories such as faces, bodies, buildings, words, animals, objects, and tools. This research has provided insight as to how face recognition differs from general object recognition. This approach also can explain selectivity in impairments following brain damage, but does not address how category specificity arises, or how category selectivity changes with experience. In the Beyond Categories lab, we embrace an alternative process-based explanation that conceptualizes category specificity as an emergent property of a distributed and dynamic system that depends on experience, rather than as a result of brain regions that are dedicated to particular categories.

Burns, E. J., Arnold, T., & Bukach, C. M. (2019). P-Curving the fusiform face area: Meta-analyses support the expertise hypothesis. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 104, 209-221.

Reed, C., Bukach, C. M., Garber, M., & *McIntosh, D. N (2018). It’s not all about the face: Variation reveals asymmetric obligatory processing of faces and bodies in whole-body contexts. Perception, 1-21,

Chen, H., Bukach, C. M., & Wong, C. –N. (2013). Early electrophysicological basis of experience-associated holistic processing of Chinese characters PLoS ONE, 8(4), e61221. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061221

Wong, A., Bukach, C. M.,  Yuen, C., Yang, Y., *Leung, S., & *Greenspon, E. (2011). Holistic processing of words is modulated by reading experience. PLoS ONE, 6(6): e20753. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020753.

Bukach, C. M., *Phillips, W. S., & Gauthier, I. (2010). Limits of generalization between categories and implications for theories of category specificity. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 72, 1865-1874.

Richler, J. J., Bukach, C. M., & Gauthier, I. (2009). Context influences holistic processing of non-face objects in the composite task. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 71, 530-540.

Bukach, C. M., Bub, D. N., Masson, M. E. J., & Lindsay, D. S. (2004). Category specificity in normal episodic learning:  Applications to object recognition and category-specific agnosia. Cognitive Psychology, 48, 1-46.

Bub, D. N., Masson, M. E. J., & Bukach, C. M. (2003).  Gesturing and naming:  The use of functional knowledge in object identification.  Psychological Science, 14, 467-472.


*Denotes student co-authored publications


See the main RESEARCH page for a complete list of publications.