Our Team


The Beyond Categories lab collaborates with other research labs across the nation on a variety of projects.

Peissig Lab

Dr. Jessie Peissig

Dr. Peissig is an Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University: Fullerton. Dr. Peissig’s research focuses on various aspects of visual perception. In a set of studies in collaboration with Dr. Cindy Bukach, birders were tested to determine the limits of visual expertise (i.e. Can training be generalized?). In her own lab, Dr. Peissig utilizes a face database of normal, disguised, and emotional faces-which she collected while at Brown University-to study how people recognize faces that have been disguised, such as adding glasses or hair changes. At CSUF she has collected a new emotion database that includes posed and genuine expression stimuli which are used to test people’s ability to recognize subtle, genuine emotions compared to posed expressions. Her lab is also exploring the role of eyebrows in face recognition, as a compared to the eyes alone and the mouth. Finally, they are exploring the role of makeup in attractiveness by testing the perceptual biases that are involved in where and why females use makeup to increase attractiveness.

Dr. Peissig’s lab collaborates with the Beyond Categories lab on projects related to Expertise. For more information on these projects, please see the Expertise Research Theme page.

Reed Lab

Dr. Cathy Reed

Dr. Reed is the the McElwee Family Professor of Psychology & George R. Roberts Fellow and Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience in the department of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, California. Using the tools of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and electrophysiology, she investigates the role that the body plays in directing our perception, attention, object recognition, emotional processing, and financial decision making. It is important for humans to recognize others’ identities, facial expressions, and postures. Only recently have psychologists recognized the body’s contributions expert visual processing. We investigate how we recognize other people’s body postures, how one’s own body posture influences our perceptions other people’s intentions, and how our bodily experience influences our perception.

Dr. Reed’s lab collaborates with the Beyond Categories lab on the PURSUE Project. For more information on this project, please visit the PURSUE project page.

Couperus Lab

Dr. Jane Couperus

Dr. Couperus is an associate professor of developmental cognitive neuroscience at Hampshire College, Massachussetts. She received her Ph.D. in child development with a minor in neuroscience from the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. Her primary research interests are in the development of attention, learning, memory, and their neurological substrates. Her research uses both behavioral and physiological techniques (primarily event related potentials) to gain a better understanding of the brain over the course of development.

Dr. Couperus’s lab collaborates with the Beyond Categories lab on the PURSUE project. For more information on this project, please visit the PURSUE project webpage.