John Palmer

Image of John Palmer

John Palmer

Research Professor Emeritus
(206) 543-0706
Chemistry Library - 027
Advising: Possibly accepting new graduate students in 2023-2024, please email with questions.
Interests: Perception and Cognition, especially Visual Attention.


My research focuses on visual attention. Much of the work involves the quantitative measurement of selective and divided attention phenomena using the methods of visual psychophysics. These measurements are used to test alternative quantitative theories. I also have ongoing collaborations with Dr. Cathleen Moore on attention and with Dr. Geoff Boynton on the neural basis of attention.


University of Michigan (1984)

  • An example of recent work on divided attention: Scharff, A., Palmer, J. & Moore, C. M. (2011). Evidence of fixed capacity in visual object categorization. Psychological Bulletin and Review, 18, 713-721.
  • An example of recent work on selective attention: Yigit-Elliott, S., Palmer, J. & Moore, C. M. (2011). Distinguishing blocking from attenuation in visual selective attention. Psychological Science, 22, 771-780.
  • A detailed review of visual search: Palmer, J., Verghese, P., & Pavel, M. (2000). The psychophysics of visual search. Vision Research, 40, 1227-1268.
  • An introductory review of visual search: Palmer, J. (1995). Attention in visual search: Distinguishing four causes of set-size effects. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 4, 118-123.