Visual Thinking Lab

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


Xiong, C., van Weelden, L., Franconeri, S. (2019). The curse of knowledge in visual data communication. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. [pdf]

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]