David E. Irwin

Section 1

Program Area: Attention & Perception

Professor of Psychology

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Contact Information:

  • Address:
    809 Psychology Bldg.
    603 E. Daniel Street
    M/C 716
    Champaign, IL 61820
  • Telephone: (217)333-7746

Research Description

Much of my past research has concentrated on a classic problem in perception: How do we perceive the visual world as unified, stable, and continuous despite the frequent disruptions caused by movements of the eyes? I have addressed this question by examining what people remember from a single glance at a scene, and by examining how people combine information across eye movements. More recently I have been investigating the effects of eye movements on cognitive processing; it turns out that eye movements actually interfere with some cognitive processes but not with others. I am also interested in interactions between perception and language, and in particular the question of how people talk about what they see.


  • Ph.D. from the University of Michigan


  • Intro to Experimental Psychology (Psych 103)
  • Perception and Sensory Processes (Psych 230)

Recent Publications

Brockmole, J. R., & Irwin, D. E. (2005). Eye movements and the integration of visual imagery and visual perception. Perception & Psychophysics, 67, 495-512.

Higgins, J. S., Wang, R. F., & Irwin, D. E. (2007). The landmark effect in perceived object stability: A general mechanism. Visual Cognition, 15, 91-94.

Irwin, D. E., & Thomas, L. E. (2007). Number processing during saccadic eye movements. Perception & Psychophysics, 69, 450-458.

Irwin, D. E., & Thomas, L. E. (2008). Visual sensory memory. In S. J. Luck & A. Hollingworth (Eds), Visual memory (pp. 9-41). Oxford University Press.

Thomas, L. E., & Irwin, D. E. (2006). Voluntary eyeblinks disrupt iconic memory. Perception & Psychophysics, 68, 475-488.

Section 2


Facilities Information

Building Remodeling Projects

Click on the title to check out these pictures from the classroom remodeling project in the basement. A second project to replace the elevators will begin in September. Beginning with the freight elevator, each elevator will be out of service for three months. To get quickly from one floor to another, and improve your fitness, we will encourage the use of the stairs. The repainting of the northeast stairwell has been completed, and the painter is starting on the southwest stairwell.