Visual Thinking Lab

We study visual thinking: how it works, and how education + design can make it work better.


Hearst, M., Pedersen, E., Patil, L., Lee, E., Lakowski, P., Franconeri, S. (2019). An Evaluation of Semantically Grouped Word Cloud Designs Transactions on Visualizations and Computer Graphics. [pdf]

Yuan, L., Haroz, S., Franconeri, S.L. (in press). Perceptual proxies for extracting averages in data visualizations. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. [pdf]

Yu, D., Xiao, M., Bemis, D., & Franconeri, S. L. (2018). Similarity grouping as feature selection. Psychological Science. [pdf]

Yu, D., Tam, D., & Franconeri, S. L. (2018). Gestalt similarity groupings are not constructed simultaneously. Cognition. [pdf]

Dimara, E., Franconeri, S., Plaisant, C., Bezerianos, A., & Dragicevic, P. (2018). A Task-based Taxonomy of Cognitive Biases for Information Visualization. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. [pdf]

Dimara, E., Bailly, G., Bezerianos, A., & Franconeri, S. L. (2018). Mitigating the Attraction Effect with Visualizations. Proceedings of IEEE Information Visualization. [pdf]

Ondov, B., Jardine, N., Elmqvist, N., & Franconeri, S.L. (2018). Face to Face: Evaluating Visual Comparison. Proceedings of IEEE Information Visualization. [pdf]

Ferguson, B., Franconeri, S.L., & Waxman, S.R. (2018). Very young infants learn abstract rules in the visual modality. PLoS ONE. 13(1). [pdf]

Wakefield, E.M, Novack, M.A., Congdon, E.C., Franconeri, F., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2018). Gesture helps learner learn, but not merely by guiding their visual attention. Developmental Science.[pdf]


Alexander, E., Chang, C-C., Shimabukuro, M., Franconeri, S., Collins, C., Gleicher, M. (2017). Perceptual Biases in Font Size as Data Encoding. Transactions on Visualizations and Computer Graphics.[pdf]

Lovett, A. & Franconeri, S. L. (2017). Topological relations between objects are categorically coded. Psychological Science. 1-11. [pdf]

Michal, A. L., & Franconeri, S. L. (2017). Visual routines are associated with specific graph interpretations. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 2(1), 20. [pdf]

Nothelfer, C., Gleicher, M., & Franconeri, S.L. (2017). Redundant encoding strenghtens segmentation and grouping in visual displays of data. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. [pdf]


Michal, A. L., Uttal, D., Shah, P., & Franconeri, S. L. (2016). Visual routines for extracting magnitude relations. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.[pdf]

Yu, D., Levinthal, B., & Franconeri, S. L. (2016). Feature-based attention resolves depth ambiguity. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-6 [pdf]

Yuan, L., Uttal, D., & Franconeri, S. (2016). Are Categorical Spatial Relations Encoded by Shifting Visual Attention between Objects?. PloS ONE, 11(10) [pdf]


Haroz, S., Kosara, R., & Franconeri, S. L. (2015). The connected scatterplot for presenting paired time series. Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. (TVCG). [pdf] [Demos]

Szafir, D.A., Haroz, S., Gleicher, M., &, Franconeri, S.L. (2015). Four Types of Ensemble Encoding in Data Visualizations. Journal of Vision. [pdf]

Salvi, C., Bricolo, E., Franconeri, S. L., Kounios, J., & Beeman, M. (2015). Sudden insight is associated with shutting out visual inputs. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, (pagination pending).[pdf]

Liverence, B. M. & Franconeri, S. L. (2015). Resource limitations in visual cognition. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences,(Eds.) Robert Scott and Stephen Kosslyn, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.[pdf]

Xu, Y. Q. & Franconeri S. L. (2015). The capacity for visual features in mental rotation. Psychological Science, 26(8), 1241-1251. [pdf]

Haroz, S., Kosara, R., & Franconeri, S. L. (2015) ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Cognitive Load, and Engagement with Pictographs. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)[pdf][Demos]

Scimeca, J.M. & Franconeri, S.L. (2015). Selecting and tracking multiple objects. WIREs Cogn Sci. 6:109-118 [pdf]

Wegbreit, E., Franconeri, S. L., & Beeman, M. (2015). Mood can spread or focus attention in feature space. Cognition & Emotion. 24(4), 668-677. [pdf]


Bebko, G.M., Franconeri, S. L., Ochsner, K. N. & Chiao, J. Y. (2014). Attentional deployment is not necessary for succesful emotion regulation via cognitive reappraisal or expressive suppression. [pdf]

Chevalier, F., Dragicevic, P., Franconeri, S. L. (2014). The Not-so-Staggering Effect of Staggered Animations on Visual Tracking. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, (TVCG/Proc. of Infovis '14). [pdf]

Harrison, L., Yang, F., Franconeri, S., & Chang, R. (2014). Ranking visualizations of correlation using Weber's law. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20(12), 1943-1952. [pdf]

Schurgin, M. W., Nelson, J., Iida, S., Ohira, H., Chiao, J. Y., & Franconeri, S. L. (2014). Eye movements during emotion recognition in faces. Journal of Vision, 14(13), 14. [pdf]


Choo, H. & Franconeri, S. L. (2013). Enumeration of small collections violates Weber's Law. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 93-99. [pdf]

Gleicher, M., Correll, M., Nothelfer, C., & Franconeri, S. (2013). Perception of average value in multiclass scatterplots. Information Visualization 2013, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 12 (19), (pagination pending) [pdf] [more info]

Xu, Y. Q., Suzuki, S., & Franconeri, S. L. (2013). Shifting selection may control apparent motion. Psychological Science. (Pagination pending). [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L. (2013). The nature and status of visual resources. Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Psychology. Reisberg, D. (Editor). Oxford University Press. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L., Alvarez, G. A., & Cavanagh, P. (2013). Flexible cognitive resources: Competitive content maps for attention and memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17(3), 3. [pdf]

Harrison, L., Skau, D., Franconeri, S., Lu, A., & Chang, R. (2013). Influencing visual judgment through affective priming. Proceedings of the 2013 Annual Conference of Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). [pdf]


O'Hearn, K., Franconeri, S., Wright, C., Minshew, N., & Luna, B. (2012). The development of individuation in autism. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. [pdf]

Roth, J. & Franconeri, S. L. (2012). Representations of spatial relationships may be asymmetric for both language and vision. Frontiers in Cognition, 3, 464. [pdf]

Xu, L., O'Keefe, S., Suzuki, S., & Franconeri, S. L. (2012). Vision influences haptic judgements of weight. Perception, 41(7), 862-870. [pdf]

Choo, H., Levinthal, B. R., & Franconeri, S. L. (2012). Average orientation is more accessible through object boundaries than surface features. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance. [pdf] [Demos]

Corell, M., Albers, D., Franconeri, S., & Gleicher, M. (2012). Comparative averaging of time series data. Proceedings of ACM CHI 2012, Austin, TX. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L., Pylyshyn, Z. W., & Scholl, B. J. (2012). A simple proximity heuristic allows tracking of multiple objects through occlusion. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74, 691-702. [pdf] [Demos]

Franconeri, S. L., Scimeca, J. M., Roth, J. C., Helseth, S. A., & Kahn, L. (2012). Flexible visual processing of spatial relationships. Cognition, 112, 210-227. [pdf] [Demos]

Xu, L. & Franconeri, S. L. (2012). The head of the table: Marking the "front" of an object is tightly linked with selection. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(4), 1408-1412. [pdf] [Demos]


Bebko, G. M., Franconeri, S. L., Ochsner, K. N., & Chiao, J. Y. (2011). Look before you regulate: Differential perceptual strategies underlying expressive suppression and cognitive reappraisal. Emotion, 11(4), 732-742. [pdf]

Levinthal B. R. & Franconeri S. L. (2011). Common fate grouping as feature selection. Psychological Science, 22(9), 1132-1137. [pdf] [Demos]


Choo, H. & Franconeri, S. L. (2010). Visual size averaging of objects unavailable to conscious awareness. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(1), 86-99. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L., Jonathan, S., & Scimeca, J. M. (2010). Tracking multiple objects is limited only by object spacing, not speed, time, or capacity. Psychological Science, 21(7), 920-925. [pdf] [Demos]

Hollingworth, A., Simons, D. J., & Franconeri, S. L. (2010). New objects do not capture attention without a sensory transient. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(5), 1298-1310. [pdf]

Iordanescu, L., Grabowecky, M., Franconeri, S. L., Theeuwes, J., & Suzuki, S. (2010). Characteristic sounds make you look at targets faster in visual search. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(7), 1736-1741. [pdf]

Parrott S. E., Levinthal B. R., & Franconeri S. L. (2010). Complex attentional control settings. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 15, 1-8. [pdf]


Brockmole, J. R. & Franconeri, S. L. (Eds.) (2009). Binding: A Special Issue of Visual Cognition. New York: Psychology Press.

Brockmole, J. R. & Franconeri, S. L. (2009). Introduction to the special issue on Binding. Visual Cognition, 17, 1-8.

Guzman-Martinez, E., Leung, P., Franconeri, S. L., Grabowecky, M., & Suzuki, S. (2009). Rapid eye-fixation training without eye tracking. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 16, 491-496. [pdf] [Code Download]

Hollingworth, A. & Franconeri, S. L. (2009). Object correspondence across brief occlusion is established on the basis of both spatiotemporal and surface feature cues. Cognition, 113, 150-166. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L., Bemis, D. K., & Alvarez, G. A. (2009). Number estimation relies on a set of segmented objects. Cognition, 113, 1-13. [pdf] [Demos]

Franconeri, S. L. (2009). Attention Capture. In Matsumoto, D. (Ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology. Cambridge University Press.


Franconeri, S. L., Lin, J., Pylyshyn, Z. W., Fisher, B., & Enns, J. T. (2008). Evidence against a speed limit in multiple object tracking. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. [pdf] [Demos]

Lin, J., Franconeri, S. L., & Enns, J. T. (2008). Objects on a collision path with the observer demand attention. Psychological Science, 19(7), 686-692. [pdf]


Alvarez, G. A. & Franconeri, S. L. (2007). How many objects can you track? Evidence for a resource-limited tracking mechanism. Journal of Vision, 7(13), 1-10. [pdf] [New Scientist Article] [Demos]

Franconeri, S. L., Alvarez, G. A., & Enns, J. T. (2007). How many locations can you select? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 33(5), 1003-1012. [pdf]

2005 and older

Franconeri, S. L., Hollingworth, A., & Simons, D. J. (2005). Do new objects capture attention? Psychological Science, 16(4), 275-281. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L. & Simons, D. J. (2005). What dynamic signals capture attention: A reply to Abrams & Christ (2005). Perception & Psychophysics, 67(6), 962-966. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L., Simons, D. J., & Junge, J. A. (2004). Searching for stimulus-driven shifts of attention. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 11(5), 876-881. [pdf]

Franconeri, S. L. & Simons, D. J. (2003). Moving and looming stimuli capture attention. Perception & Psychophysics, 65(7), 999-1010. [pdf]

Simons, D. J., Mitroff, S. R., & Franconeri, S. L. (2003). Implicit and explicit representations in scene perception. In M. Peterson & G. Rhodes (Eds.), Analytic and holistic processes in the perception of faces, objects, and scenes. JAI/Ablex. [link]

Mitroff, S. R., Simons, D.J., & Franconeri, S.L. (2002). The siren song of implicit change detection. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 28(4), 798-815. [pdf]

Simons, D. J., Franconeri, S. L., & Reimer, R. L. (2000). Change blindness in the absence of a visual disruption. Perception, 29, 1143-1154. [pdf]