Ph.D. 1989 (Oregon)
joined Department in 2003
My research examines the cognitive and neurological processes underlying object and face recognition. I am particularly interested in questions related to how experience influences the way we perceive and recognize objects in the world. To address these questions, we have been studying the perceptual processes involved in expert object recognition, such as birdwatching, and face recognition - a kind of perceptual expertise in which we are all experts. In a related line of research, we have been working with children with autism in a program designed to improve their face recognition abilities.
- Visual object and face recognition
Tanaka, J. W., Meixner, T.R., & Kantner, J. (in press). Exploring the perceptual spaces of faces, cars and birds in children and adults. Developmental Science.
Tanaka, J. W, Wolf, J. M., Klaiman, C., Koenig, K., Cockburn, J., Herlihy, L., Brown, C., Stahl, S., Kaiser, M.D., & Schultz, R.T. (2010). Using computerized games to teach face recognition skills to children with autism spectrum disorder: The Let's Face It! program. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 51, 944-95.
Tanaka, J.W. and Pierce, L.J. (2009). The neural plasticity of other-race face recognition. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, 122-131.
Krigolson, O. E., Pierce, L. J., Holroyd, C.B. & Tanaka, J.W. (2009). Learning to become an expert: Reinforcement learning and the acquisition of perceptual expertise. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21 , 1833-1840.