Nicolas Davidenko, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychology
University of California, Santa Cruz

Ph.D. in Psychology, Stanford '06
M.S. in Statistics, Stanford '04
A.B. in Mathematics, Harvard '98

1156 High Street
Social Sciences II
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

High Level Perception Lab


My research investigates high-level aspects of human perception. I use behavioral and computational approaches to study how we recognize faces, how we perceive spatial orientation, and how we interpret ambiguous visual information. I am particularly interested in understanding how "top-down" processes (such as attention, expectations, and beliefs) influence what we perceive. Read more.

Meet the Lab

In the High Level Perception Lab we are investigating questions at the interface of perception, memory, and communication. What makes some faces easy or hard to remember? How do we integrate visual and auditory cues in face-to-face communication? What can virtual reality perception teach us about reality perception?

Courses Taught


  • PSYC 224B: Cognitive proseminar (Fall)
  • Psyc 121: Perception (Winter)
  • Psyc 139L: Illusions (Spring)
  • Psyc 194B: Advanced cognitive research
  • CSASS Matlab Workshops


  • Psyc 121: Perception (Spring)
  • Psyc 139K: Face recognition (Winter)
  • Psyc 252: Advanced topics in cognition (Fall)
  • Psyc 194B: Advanced cognitive research
  • CSASS Matlab Workshops


  • PSYC 121: Perception (Spring)
  • PSYC 224B: Cognitive proseminar (Winter)
  • PSYC 194B: Advanced cognitive research
  • CSASS Matlab Workshops


  • PSYC 121: Perception (Winter and Spring)
  • PSYC 139K: Face Recognition (Spring)
  • PSYC 194B: Advanced cognitive research