Deborah J. Aks, PhD
Areas of expertise:
- Perceptual & Cognitive Science, Research Methodology, Data Analysis, Dynamics of human behavior.
- Experimental design & supervision of projects involving visual search and object tracking,
- University Teaching & Mentoring
1985-1993 M.A. & Ph.D.– Experimental Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
1980-1984 B.A. – Psychology, State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, N.Y
2013-Current. Instructor/ Research Mentor--Cognitive Science
2006-Current Research Associate -- Rutgers University: Center for Cognitive Science
1993-2005 Tenured Associate Professor of Psychology – University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
- 25+ years of university teaching and research experience.
- Developed, organized & supervised over 70 research projects.
- Set up & supervised (1) Eye-tracking laboratory at Rutgers University (2005-present), and
- (2) Computer instructional laboratory at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (1995-2005) used extensively in my Research Methods and other University courses.
- Taught students critical reasoning skills, and how to conduct methodical experiments to answer scientific questions.
- Lead many tutorials, lectures & discussion groups.
Skills & Interests
Research & Experimental Design
Recent Activites (2009-2014)
Collaborative Research, Teaching, & Advising
My research at Rutgers University has been a blend of teaching, and mentoring undergraduate & graduate students. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with Zenon Pylyshyn, and has culminated in research presentations listed below.
Teaching: 2006 to 2015:
- Spring 2015: Instructor. SAS Honors Seminar at Rutgers University: Applying Cognitive Science to real & virtual worlds.
- Fall 2014 & 2015: Instructor. Byrne Freshman Seminar at Rutgers University: Applying Cognitive Science to real & virtual worlds.
- Summer 2014 & 2015: Instructor. Adult Sailing Instruction at Keyport Yacht Club, 115 Front St. Keyport, NJ
- Summer 2013: Instructor. Cognitive Science: An interdisciplinary Approach. Hybrid Undergraduate Course (Online & In-class).
- Eye-tracking; Attention & Perception
- Multiple Object Tracking and Visual Search.
- Search and Tracking dynamics
- Application of non-linear based analyses (i.e., Fractal & Recurrence Analyses)
Invited Speaker (2009-2014)
- Aks, D.J. (October 2-3 2014). Dynamics of visual behavior: Gaze & performance patterns in object tracking & visual search. Conference on Complex Systems and the Sciences of the Mind. San Diego State University.
- Aks, D.J. (July 25, 2013). Visual Recurrence Analysis: Overview & application to eye-movement behavior used in tracking objects. International Meeting of Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences (SCTPLS). Workshop on Nonlinear Methods. Portland, Oregon.
- Aks, D.J. (July 25, 2013 & Aug 4-6, 2011). Analysis of recurrence: Overview & application to eye-movement behavior. International Meeting of Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and Life Sciences (SCTPLS). Workshop on Nonlinear Methods. Orange, CA. (11) 19.
- Aks, D., Pylyshyn, Z., & Haladjian, H. (Aug 14, 2009). Complementarity of classical & dynamical views of perception, cognition & action. 4th University of Connecticut Workshop on Cognition & Dynamics, Storrs, CT.
Invited Chapters (2009-2014)
- Aks, D., (2011). Analysis of recurrence: Overview & application to eye-movement behavior. Nonlinear Dynamical Systems Analysis of human behavior.(Chap. 10). NY: Cambridge University Press.
- Aks, D. J. (2009). Studying temporal and spatial patterns in perceptual behavior: Implications for dynamical structure. In S. Guastello, M. Koopmans, & D. Pincus (Eds.), Chaos and Complexity in Psychology: The Theory of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems (Chap. 5). NY: Cambridge University Press.
Meeting Demonstration of Visual-Perceptual Illusion
- Deborah J. Aks, Hristyian Kourtev, Harry Haladjian, and Zenon Pylyshyn, Rutgers University; Jiye Shen, SR-Research Ltd. (May, 2011). Blink-Induced-Blindness (BIB) in Multiple-Object-Tracking (MOT) shows when vision does not extrapolate. (http://www.visionsciences.org/demo_night.html)
Meeting Presentations & Published Abstracts (2009-2014):
- Aks, D.J., Singh, N., Naqvi, M., Mohan, S., Patel, V., Pylyshyn, Z.W. (2014a). Exploration of the Halt-Move effect for occluded objects in Multiple Object Tracking: Tests of masking, cuing and item displacement. Journal of Vision, 14, 1551
- Naqvi, M., Aks, D.J. , Mohan, S., Emeana, C., Canuto, H., Pylyshyn, Z.W. (2014b) Studying the effect of eye-movements and interruptions in Multiple Object Tracking. Journal of Vision, 14, 1512
- Aks, D.J., Naqvi, M., Zish, K., Planer, R., Kevin Zish, Pylyshyn, Z. (May, 2013). Role of attention, eye‐movements, and landmarks in tracking an occluded object. Journal of Vision, 13(9): 1278.
- Naqvi, M., Zish, K., Planer, R., Aks, D.J. & Pylyshyn (May, 2012). Effect of Occlusion and Landmarks on single object tracking during disrupted viewing. Journal of Vision, 12, 1404.
- Aks, D.J., Alley, L. Rathakrishnan, V., Kourtev, H., Haladjian, H. Pylyshyn, Z. (May, 2011). When vision loses its "grip" on tracked objects: Lessons from studying gaze-to-item dynamics.. Journal of Vision, 11(11), 276.
- Alley, L. Rathakrishnan, V., Harman, C., Kourtev, H., Haladjian, H., Aks, D.J., Pylyshyn, Z. (May, 2011). Tracking objects and tracking our eyes during disrupted viewing. Journal of Vision, 11(11), 277a.
- Elfanagely, O., Haladjian, H., Pylyshyn, Z., Aks, D.J. (May, 2011). Eye-movement dynamics of object-tracking . Journal of Vision, 11(11), 280a.
- Harman, C., Haladjian, H., Aks, D.J., Pylyshyn, Z. (May, 2011). Spatial compression in localization of enumerated stimuli: Does pointing or eye movements play a role? . Journal of Vision, 11(11), 254a.
- Aks, D.J ., Haladjian, H., Kosmides, A., Annamraju, S., Kourtev, H. & Pylyshyn, Z. (May, 2010). Blink-induced masking and its effect on Multiple Object Tracking: It’s easier to track those that stop during interrupted viewing. Journal of Vision, 10(7),301a.
- Aks, D.J., Haladjian, H., Pylyshyn, Z., & Hakkinen, A. (May, 2009). Eye-blinks and Eye-tracking. Journal of Vision, 9(8):249, 249a.