VSS 2024 - We were there!


The Vision Sciences Society (VSS) is an annual conference that brings together scientists from the broad range of disciplines that contribute to vision science, including visual psychophysics, neuroscience, computational vision and cognitive psychology.

From the SGL, Yury, Lea, Naomi, Vicky, Melissa, Erwan, Dilara, and Aylin (l.t.r.) contributed their research - You can find all their abstracts under Presentations!

May 23rd 2024

Using a fashlight‑contingent

window paradigm to investigate

visual search and object memory

in virtual reality and on computer

screens - A new paper!


In their latest paper, Julia, Jason, Erwan, and Melissa found a memory benefit for the identities of distractors in the flashlight condition of a surprise incidental memory task in Virtual Reality but not in the respective computer screen experiment. Location memory was comparable across search conditions despite the enormous difference in visual input. Their findings highlight that removing visual information does not necessarily impair location memory, and that screen experiments using virtual environments can elicit the same major effects as VR setups.


Read the paper here!


April 14th 2024

The temporal dynamics of semantic integration of objects


Delving into the depths of object recognition, our latest paper – co-authored by Melissa and Dejan – taps further into how contextual cues influence semantic object processing. Our findings, using computational modeling and representational similarity analysis, illuminate the temporal dynamics of semantic integration in congruent versus incongruent scenes. The study, published in Language, Cognition & Neuroscience, reveals distinct EEG patterns differentiating object processing of congruent and incongruent objects from 300ms onwards. Notably, we've identified a prolonged semantic integration phase for incongruent objects post 275ms, shedding light on contextual information's pivotal role in accessing semantic object details. Read the full paper for a deeper understanding of this fascinating exploration!


November 10th 2023

Aging & Memory - A new Paper! 


Lena Klever, Jasmin Islam, Melissa Lê-Hoa Võ, and Jutta Billino just published their latest paper called “Aging attenuates the memory advantage for unexpected objects in real-world scenes”. They compared younger and older adults’ memory while freely viewing photographs of scenes similar to the picture on the right. For instance, toothpaste (green box) is expected close to the bathrooms' sink, but a bottle of ketchup (red box) is a rather incongruent object to be found in most showers. Does aging influence how well these objects can be recognized? Find out all about their work here.


September 22nd 2023

Cheers to Aylin...


...for getting her Bachelor Thesis published! In this study, Aylin used 3D models to investigate how scene context affects the recognition of objects from noncanonical viewpoints. You can now explore her findings on viewpoint dependence and scene context effects right here. Well done, Aylin!!


September 14th 2023

Congratulations, Dr. Wiesmann!


We are very happy to congratulate Sandro on the successful completion of his PhD titled "The Role of Object and Global Scene Information During Human Scene Categorization"! We are looking forward to re-welcoming you as a Post-Doc in our lab in October. Until then enjoy some well-deserved time off! 


July 26th 2023

Welcome to the lab, Vicky and Yury!!


Our newest lab members arrived a few weeks ago, and we are thrilled to work together! Dr. Victoria Nicholls explores how scene hierarchies are represented neurally, and Dr. Yury Markov investigates how observers learn scene grammar rules using artificial scenes. Read more about them here.


July 18th 2023

Kudos to Dr. Jacopo Turini!


Congratulations to Jacopo who finished his PhD on the topic of hierarchical mental representations called “The Structure of the Visual World in the Human Mind: Measuring Object Statistics from Large Sets of Real-World Images and their Impact on Behaviour”.

It was a pleasure to work with you and we wish you all the best for the future. Come visit us soon!




July 12th 2023

Congratulations, Julia!


We are happy to share with you Julia's latest paper titled "Flipping the world upside down: Using eye tracking in virtual reality to study visual search in inverted scenes".

In this study, Julia, Jason, Erwan, Dejan and Melissa investigated how scene inversion in virtual reality, in combination with eye tracking, affects visual perception and search behavior. You can download the paper here!


July 7th 2023

Three times congrats, Jacopo!!


The SGL is super proud to share two new papers with you:

Jacopo and Melissa investigated if the hierarchical organization of objects in scenes is reflected in the mental representations of objects. You can read up about it here. Also they got their paper on object and word frequency effects in categorization behavior accepted to JEP:GEN which you will can check out in our Publications tab once it's out! Beyond that, we want to throw out a BIG CONGRATS to Jacopo for handing in his thesis! We're looking forward to toasting to you in person.


November 16th 2022 

Jason's 2nd!


Today we're proudly sharing some exciting news with you: Jason just got his second paper - called "Auxiliary scene context information provided by anchor objects guides attention and locomotion in natural search behavior" - accepted in Psychological Science. Together with Dejan and Melissa, he investigated how eye and body movements are guided by anchor objects in immersive virtual reality scenes. Have a look here!

February 18th 2022

SGL strikes again!


We're happy to announce that we just published another awesome paper at the Journal of Vision. Erwan, Julia and Melissa wanted to find out how the perceived roles of central and peripheral vision translate to more natural settings, so they conducted a gaze-contingent experiment in virtual reality to investigate this! If you, too, want to know more about this topic, you can download their paper here. Grab it while it's hot!


July 16th 2021

Congratulations, Levi!


In our newest publication, Levi developed a tutorial for estimating power in linear as well as generalized linear mixed models. Along with Dejan and Melissa, they lead you through different use cases and help you determine the adequate sample size as well as the number of stimuli required for sufficient power! Kudos to Levi for providing this amazing tool and helping researchers improve their research designs. An important step into the direction of reproducible science! We're proud of you, Levi!!

May 25th 2021

Review paper on Scene Grammar out now


In this comprehensive review paper, Melissa discusses how the meaning and structure of real-world scenes influence attention allocation, search, and object identification. 

It provides a great overview of relevant research on scene perception and brings everything we've learnt so far into context. You can read all about it here.

Congratulations, Melissa, for this amazing work!


January 10th 2021

Get Your Guidance Going!


We are proud to announce that Julia just got her first SGL paper published as first author. Congratulations! Along with Jason, Dejan and Melissa, she investigated the activation of spatial priors for efficient search in virtual reality. They were able to eliminate the search initiation effect by previewing a scene before having participants search through it. Their results suggest that the effect is due to a process of orientation that slows down search at first. You can read 

more about it here.                                 


January 8th 2021

The scene-inconsistency effect in toddlers


If you found a bottle of milk in the bathroom, you would probably be quite surprised. This is because you hold strong expectations about what objects belong in which scene. But at what age do you form these semantic predictions about your environment that lead to you being surprised by the milk in the bathroom?
Laura, Sabine and Melissa investigated this by presenting 24-month-olds with scene-consistent as well as scene-inconsistent objects in an ERP experiment. Their results provide first indications that by the age of two toddlers have already established their scene semantics allowing them to detect a semantic object-scene inconsistency.
Check out their amazing (and hard!) work here.


December 10th 2020

Check out our Cognition Design Clip!

This video was produced for our interdisciplinary project with the HfG Offenbach on the topic of Cognition Design. Together with the design experts, we are investigating the layout of train stations in VR as well as mobile eye-tracking studies. Watch our clip to get a first glimpse of the project.

November 22nd 2020

Congratulations to Erwan...


...for publishing his first paper in the SGL! Together with Julia and Melissa, he investigated the effects of central versus peripheral vision during real-world search in a 3D environment. They implemented a gaze-contingent protocol and masked central or peripheral vision, while participants were looking for objects in simulated everyday rooms. You can find out all about it here. Kudos!

November 13th 2020

Congratulations, Tim!


We already know that semantically consistent objects tend to be better recognized than inconsistent ones.

But surely you have been asking yourself what role scene and object orientation plays in this. Look no further! We have the answer. Tim, Verena, Laura and Melissa investigated this influence by presenting upright and inverted objects in upright, inverted and scrambled scenes. Their paper just got published in Behavioural Brain Research. You can read all about it here


July 29th 2020

We are happy to share some exciting news with you: Sabine's PhD work on how children process and use scene grammar got published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology! She tested 72 children ranging from 2 to 4 in two types of tasks that measured scene knowledge: Either directly by asking them to furnish a dollhouse or indirectly by analyzing their eye movements during scene viewing. If you want to know more, you can read the paper here. Congratulations, Sabine!

                                                                                                                                           March 26th 2020

Congratulations, Jason!!

We are more than proud to announce that our research assistant Jason has officially published his first paper with first-authorship! Along with Dejan and Melissa, he investigated the influence of explicit encoding versus goal-directed attentional allocation on memory. Go check out the paper here!


January 30th 2020

Yesterday we wrapped up this year's EXPRA with a great poster session.

All groups proudly presented their interesting studies and we celebrated the end of this productive and intense period.

Congratulations to Aylin's group that investigated function-priming in target and anchor recognition with regards to scene grammar for winning this year's SGL poster prize! 

July 17th 2019

Salzburg Mind and Brain 2019


Melissa gave an interesting talk today at SAMBA (Salzburg Mind and Brain) on how scene grammar guides attention in real-world environments.

If you missed it, you can check it out here: https://t.co/4y9dhpgWls


July 11th 2019

We did it again! - TIME TO CELEBRATE


Congratulations to Melissa for winning the YAVIS-teaching-prize round 3! This prize is awarded by all active students of the Psychological department.

Our best wishes also go out to our PhD Sandro who won the Young-YAVIS-teaching prize that made its debut this year. 


We want to take this chance to thank Dejan for implementing and sponsoring the Young-YAVIS-prize that is given to students or PhDs involved in teaching to show appreciation for their dedicated work. 


Last but not least we wish to thank all students for their active participation and the valuable feedback we received.

July 3rd 2019

Our latest paper just got published in Current Opinion in Psychology! 

Melissa, Sage & Dejan had a look at how scene grammar guides attention and aids perception in real-world environments and argue that so-called "anchor objects" are essential for scene perception. Anchors tend to be prominent objects that are representative for a scene. Not only do they aid scene categorization, but they also play a key role in object search and object identification. If you want to find out more about how scene grammar rules the world, download the article here!


May 1st 2019

Congratulations, Dr. Peer Herholz!

Our long-term friend Peer just finished his PhD and his dissertation was awarded with Summa cum laude. Massive congratulations from all of us and good luck at McGill!


           February 22nd 2019

Science Retreat in Austria


Our PhDs had a great and productive time in Riezlern at the Science/Ski-Retreat! We are happy to be working with such a fun and creative crowd.



February 16th 2019

We're on a roll! Dejan and Jona published yet another paper in Psychophysiology. They're trying to raise awareness for problems and common pitfalls that the method of cluster-based permutation tests generates.
Check it out here!



January 22nd 2019

It’s out for grabs: Tim, Jona and Melissa just published their innovative new work on how to best combine eye tracking and EEG recordings to improve free-viewing fixation-related EEG potentials with continuous time regression in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. CONGRATS!



January 7th 2019

Sage, Dejan, Melissa and Eric just published a paper in the Journal of Vision. They investigated the role of anchor objects on eye movements in visual search in a series of three eye tracking experiments.  Participants were asked to look for a cued object in a scene and it was shown that relevant anchor objects - in comparison to irrelevant, but semantically consistent anchors - led to faster reaction times, less scene coverage and less time between fixating the anchor and the target. Click here to find out more!


    December 20th 2018

The SGL introduces you to Dr. Cornelissen:

Tim finished his PhD and gave his disputation on the topic of Object Recognition in Active Vision. 

Congratulations from all of us!
We wish you all the best for the future. 




December 7th 2018

Check out another new paper that got published in Neuropsychologia here. Dejan, Edvard, Melissa, Christian & Jona found no evidence of different processes underlying the N300 and N400 effects. They were able to identify certain neural patterns that are shared among early object-scene integration and later stages of processing.




October 16th 2018

Congratulations, Tim!!!


He just got his first paper published in Scientific Reports, go check it out here: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-32991-1 
Along with Tim C., Dejan, Melissa and Verena, he investigated the effect of different visual information of an object's surroundings on its semantic processing. 


October 3rd 2018

ECVP (August 26th - 30th)

Scene Grammar Lab goes ECVP!
We are very excited to announce that the SGL participated in the 41st European Conference on Visual Perception which was held in Trieste, Italy.
We got the chance to present our latest work during a great poster session and had an overall fun time in Italy!


September 13th 2018

VSSA (July 13th - 16th) 

Last week, Dejan, Melissa, Daniel & Gioia went to the VSSA (Visual Search Symposium am Ammersee) and met up with Jeremy Wolfe, Steve Luck, Geoff Woodman, Leo Chelazzi, Jan Theeuwes, Monica Castelhano, Greg Zelinsky and many more! 


July 24th 2018

1822 - Universitätspreis für exzellente Lehre 


Yesterday, Dejan Draschkow was awarded with the 1822 - Universitätspreis für exzellente Lehre, an initiative from Goethe University and Frankfurt Sparkasse to honor outstanding commitment and excellence in teaching. We congratulate Dejan as well as the other prize winners and further thank all nominees for putting in the effort they do!


July 10th  2018

The SGL introduces you to Dr. Öhlschläger:


Last week Sabine finished her PhD and gave her disputation. Huge congratulations from all of us!

We wish you all the best for the future.





July 10th  2018

Last week we had a great poster session concluding the EXPRA of this semester. All groups provided fantastic scientific posters.

Congrats to Lisa's group for winning this year's SGL poster prize with their research on "Searching for meaning". Cheers!

July 10th 2018

Dejan, Saliha, Corbin and Melissa just published their newest paper  in the Quaterly Journal of Psychology here. They investigated visual long - term memory capacity, focussing on the capacity and detail of incidental memory in a new encoding task. Check it out to find out how participants handled the memory tasks!


June 29th 2018

The Young Investigator Award - Time to celebrate!


We are proud to announce that Melissa was honoured with the Young Investigator Award 2018!

The prize is awarded to an outstanding visual scientist by the Vision Science Society each year.


Huge Congrats from all of us!
Your dedication to the work you do never ceases to amaze us and is an immense motivation for all members of the SGL!





March 28th 2018

Check out another new paper published here by Ellen M. Kok, Avi M. Aizenman, Melissa L.-H. Võ and Jeremy M. Wolfe to find out how much you can learn about your own visual behavior with the help of a gaze-contingent window.






February 15th 2018

Check out Dejan's and Melissa's newest paper about the way scene grammar shapes the way we interact with objects, strengthens memories and speeds search, which was just recently published in: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-16739-x! Two experiments were conducted using a virtual reality paradigm to observe the participants in a 3D-environment.

November 28th 2017

Last week we had a great "end of the year" poster session. All of the groups did fantastic presentations and the group that analyzed the influence of characteristic sounds on visual search performance in scenes won this year's SGL Poster Prize (Pörschmann, Römer, Sauerland, Simon & Seidel). Cheers!!


 July 19th 2017

The SGL introduces you to Dr. Draschkow:


Dejan Draschkow finished his PhD yesterday and his dissertation was awarded with the top score of summa cum laude!

We are very proud of you, Dejan! For you it was never just papers, the thesis and a title. You sweeten our everyday work and are the best support we can wish for! You truly are an inspiration! We wish you all the best for your future plans and are excited what will come next :)


 July 6th 2017


The YAVIS - teaching prize of the Psychological faculty (awarded by all active students of the department) was awarded to Melissa and Dejan. We wish to thank all students for the motivation and enthusiasm they demonstrated throughout the year, as well as for the valuable feedback we received!

 June 29th 2017

The Scene Grammar Lab will be represented with 2 talks and several posters at VSS this year. Check out our Presentations tab for more details!



And congrats to Sage and Dejan for receiving the VSS Graphics Award: read more here.




 May 10th 2017

Where next for Eye Tracking and Human Factors?  


If you are interested in what seems to be the next step in our research then check out this interview with SMI and Melissa.


 September 27th 2016

In the coming weeks, the Scene Grammar Lab will be visiting the Laboratory for Multimodal Neuroimaging (LMN) at the University of Marburg.


It will be a mixture of talks and workshops and we are looking forward to it!


We want to use the opportunity here and thank LMN for inviting us!






 August 15th 2016

Dejan's and Melissa's new paper about the role of object handling on object location and identity memory just got out in AP&P. In this real world study they used a mobile eye tracker to capture gaze behavior in a naturalistic setting. You can find the paper in the Publications tab.


May 13th 2016

Congrats to Sabine! She was awarded the competitive Congress Travel Grant to the VSS Annual Meeting in St. Pete, Florida by the German Academic Exchange Service.


March 26th 2016

The Scene Grammar Lab will be represented with 2 talks and 4 posters at VSS this year.

If you are interested in our work, visit the Presentations tab to have a look at our contributions and maybe stop by at our talks and posters at St. Pete.


February 21th 2016

A big thank you to the multitude of interested people at the ICNF organised public lecture.

Very nice to see so many people from different backgrounds and all age groups.

We appreciate that there is a strong public interest in our work! 






 January 26th 2016

We were extremely happy to welcome a very motivated group of high school students from the START Stiftung today! We hope they come back soon to ask even more great questions in Melissa's lecture and to try out the new eye trackers! Here you can find more pictures from today!


October 20th 2015

We are back from a fascinating, yet exhausting ECEM 2015! The SGL was represented with 3 talks and 2 posters, so check out our contributions in the Presentations tab



 August 21st 2015

Congratulations to all students for their intriguing posters and engaging presentations in today's "end of the year" poster session! Special congratulations of course go to the SGL Poster Prize winners: "A Relevant Manipulation You Will Remember: the impact of task relevance and object manipulation on memory" (Fann, Jockweg, Polzer, Seidel, Stänicke & Draschkow) !

 July 7th 2015

What a day!


It has been exactly one year since the SGL came into life and coincidentially we are happy to announce that Melissa just received the YAVIS - teaching prize of the Psychological faculty!

This prize is awarded by all active students of the department and honours the best lecturer of 2015. We wish to thank all students for the motivation and enthusiasm they demonstrated throughout the year, as well as for the valuable feedback we received! It was so much fun teaching the lectures and seminars and we hope that we can improve on it next year :)


 July 1st 2015

The Scene Grammar Lab finally opens its doors to the new website!


Here you will find who we are, what we do, and why we love doin' it!



 April 8th 2015