David Whitney, PhD

University of California, Berkeley


Dr. Whitney is a Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley. His lab investigates visual perception, attention, and visually guided action. Specific areas of interest include motion perception, perceptual localization, object and face recognition, scene perception, and visuomotor behavior. Using a variety of techniques, including psychophysics, functional neuroimaging, and transcranial magnetic stimulation, the researchers at Dr. Whitney’s lab study visual and visuomotor function, with the goal of understanding the perceptual, cognitive, and neural mechanisms that allow humans to perceive and interact with objects in a dynamic world.

BRAIN Funded Projects

Improving emotion perception in individuals with autism through visually guided attention using context-rich dynamic stimuli

Aims of the study: Improve the emotion recognition of individuals with autism using context-based emotion-processing training through visually guided attention; Increase the ability to focus on important social cues during social interactions

Selected Publications

Whitney D, Manassi M, Murai Y. Searching for serial dependencies in the brain. PLoS Biol. 2022 Sep 7;20(9):e3001788. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001788. PMID: 36070292; PMCID: PMC9451067.

Manassi M, Kristjánsson Á, Whitney D. Serial dependence in a simulated clinical visual search task. Sci Rep. 2019 Dec 27;9(1):19937. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-56315-z. Erratum in: Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 18;10(1):3221. PMID: 31882657; PMCID: PMC6934778.

Manassi M, Whitney D. Multi-level Crowding and the Paradox of Object Recognition in Clutter. Curr Biol. 2018 Feb 5;28(3):R127-R133. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.051. PMID: 29408262.

Liberman A, Manassi M, Whitney D. Serial dependence promotes the stability of perceived emotional expression depending on face similarity. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2018 Aug;80(6):1461-1473. doi: 10.3758/s13414-018-1533-8. PMID: 29736808.

Manassi M, Liberman A, Chaney W, Whitney D. The perceived stability of scenes: serial dependence in ensemble representations. Sci Rep. 2017 May 16;7(1):1971. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02201-5. PMID: 28512359; PMCID: PMC5434007.

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