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Stefan is a Principal Researcher working with Alex Todorov. Prior to his arrival at Chicago, he served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University (again working with Alex). He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Yale University, where he worked with Brian Scholl in the Perception & Cognition Lab.

Research Interests

Stefan is a cognitive scientist whose primary research program explores the default assumptions wired into the mind, especially in the context of perception. It turns out that what we see is a process of unconscious inferences, where we take into account not only the exact nature of the light entering our eyes, but also a set of assumptions about the source that most likely generated or reflected that light. It is now becoming possible to reveal the nature of these assumptions through various techniques, such as the method of serial reproduction — essentially the children’s game of ‘Broken Telephone’. Stefan has used this method to explore our default assumptions across several visual contexts, ranging from faces to patterns of movement. In addition, Stefan is developing new (patent-pending) techniques for manipulating hyper-realistic faces along dimensions of psychological interest, which will greatly increase the ease, scalability, and ecological validity of research into face perception and memory.

Selected Publications

Reed, E. J., Uddenberg, S., Suthaharan, P., Mathys, C. D., Taylor, J. R., Groman, S. M., & Corlett, P. R. (2020). Paranoia as a deficit in non-social belief updating. eLife, 9, e56345. doi: 10.7554/eLife.56345.

Uddenberg, S., & Scholl, B. J. (2018). TeleFace: Serial reproduction of faces reveals a Whiteward bias in race memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147, 1466-1487.

*Ongchoco, J. D. K., *Uddenberg, S., & Chun, M. M. (2016). Statistical learning of movement. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 1913-1919. *These authors contributed equally to this work.

van Buren, B., Uddenberg, S., & Scholl, B. J. (2016). The automaticity of perceiving animacy: Goal-directed motion in simple shapes influences visuomotor behavior even when task-irrelevant. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23, 797-802.

Uddenberg, S., & Shim, W. M. (2015). Seeing the world through target-tinted glasses: Positive mood broadens perceptual tuning. Emotion, 15, 319-328.