My work is focused on understanding attention, both how it works and how it fails, mostly in the visual domain. I have studied issues such as temporal attention, why we tend to get distracted when we concentrate over long periods of time, how we tune out the world when we are trying to concentrate, and how it is that we find objects in a scene.
I also work in increasing the visibility of under-represented minorities in the cognitive sciences through my work at the Spark Society. Consider joining this society! It is open to all, including allies, who want to help us in this mission.
Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, 2002
Awards and Honors
CAREER award recipient from National Science Foundation
Additional Campus Affiliations
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Cui, A. Y., Lleras, A., Ng, G. J. P., & Buetti, S. (2023). Complex background information slows down parallel search efficiency by reducing the strength of interitem interactions. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 49(7), 1053-1067. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0001130
Lively, Z., Ng, G. J. P., Buetti, S., & Lleras, A. (2021). Irrelevant features of distractors in intervening visual search tasks cause active visual working memory interference – the more difficult the search task, the more interference it causes. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 83(6), 2410-2429. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-021-02318-w
Ng, G. J. P., Buetti, S., Patel, T. N., & Lleras, A. (2021). Prioritization in visual attention does not work the way you think it does. Journal of experimental psychology. Human perception and performance, 47(2), 252-268. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000887
Xu, Z. J., Lleras, A., Shao, Y., & Buetti, S. (2021). Distractor–Distractor Interactions in Visual Search for Oriented Targets Explain the Increased Difficulty Observed in Nonlinearly Separable Conditions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 47(9), 1274-1297. https://doi.org/10.1037/xhp0000941
Xu, Z. J., Lleras, A., & Buetti, S. (2021). Predicting how surface texture and shape combine in the human visual system to direct attention. Scientific reports, 11(1), Article 6170. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-85605-8