Alejandro Lleras

Section 1

Division: Visual Cognition & Human Performance

Associate Professor of Psychology, Helen Corley Petit Scholar of Psychology

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Contact Information:

  • Address:
    523 Psychology Bldg.
    603 E. Daniel Street
    M/C 716
    Champaign, IL 61820
  • Telephone: (217) 265-6709


  • Attention, Vision, Awareness

Research Description

My larger research program is aimed at addressing a fundamental question in perception: how is it that we become of aware of visual information and what is it that determines which information we see and attend to, and which information we ignore or suppress. I study the effects of prior experience (memory) and expectations (knowledge) on our attention system and ultimately on our awareness of the world around us. I am also interested in understanding the relationship between our perceptual system and our motor system (e.g., how is it that we can respond to information we are never aware of?). Lastly, I am also interested in embodied cognition and in understanding the nature itself of mental representations: how are visual representations alike (and different from) action representations and higher-order cognitive representations. My aim is to demonstrate that these representational systems are related in a straightforward manner, as they directly arise from our interactions with the world. Because of this common nature, these representations can interact in previously unforeseen, yet straightforward manners.


  • Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, 2002

Distinctions / Awards

  • CAREER award recipient from National Science Foundation


  • Computers in Visual Cognition. Research lab course for graduate students
  • Engineering Psychology and Human Performance. Lecture course for undergraduate students.
  • Perception and Sensory Processes. Lecture course for undergraduate students.
  • Perception. Graduate Level Course

Recent Publications

Lleras, A., & Enns, J. T. (2004). Negative Compatibility or Object Updating? A Cautionary Tale of Mask-Dependent Priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 475-493.

Lleras, A., & Moore, C. M. (2006). What you see is what you get: Functional equivalence of a perceptually filled-in surface and a physically presented stimulus. Psychological Science, 17, 876-881.

Lleras, A., Kawahara, J., Wan, X. I., Ariga, A. (2008). Inter-trial inhibition of focused attention in pop-out search. Perception & Psychophysics, 70, 114-131.

Lleras, A., Rensink, R. A., & Enns, J. T. (2005). Rapid resumption of interrupted visual search: new insights on the interaction between vision and memory. Psychological Science, 16, 684-688.

Thomas, L. E., Lleras, A. (2007). Moving eyes and moving thought: on the spatial compatibility between eye movements and cognition. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 663-668.

Section 2


Facilities Information

Psychology Bldg Wireless Upgrade

Technology Services employees have been working over the winter break to upgrade wireless capability in the building. This includes installing additional routers to give us more access points. The basement and first floor are finished, and the workers will be working on the upper floors during the week and weekend to finish the upgrade as soon as possible.