Xiao (Nicole) Han grew up in Shanghai, China. She earned her B.S. in Cognitive Psychology and Economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (go Illini!). In 2017, she joined the VIU lab as a Ph.D. graduate student in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at UCSB.
My main research interest lies in understanding the mechanisms, both shared and distinct, that humans and machines use to perform visual tasks. In my first year in the VIU, I investigated the degree to which different facial features contribute to the guidance of the first (and most critical) eye movements onto faces. Currently, I am working on a visual search project that aims to understand how our perception of another person's direction of gaze affects where and what we look at and attend to in real-world environments (i.e., gaze-cueing). In general, I am interested in combining measurements of human behavior (psychophysics, eye tracking), computational neuroscience, and machine learning techniques to identify and characterize the neural, cognitive, and perceptual mechanisms underlying human performance of common and critical visual tasks.