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How is thinking shaped by seeing, and how is seeing shaped by thinking? I have been exploring the possibility that perception and cognition are connected by a ‘one-way street’: How we think and act is influenced in surprising and subtle ways by how our visual systems represent the world; yet, what we see is insulated from higher-level cognitive states such as beliefs, desires, emotions, or actions. On one hand, some of my work has explored how our interactions with objects are guided by underlying visual representations, using shape perception as a case study. For example, I have discovered that decisions as basic as where you choose to randomly tap a shape with your finger are steered by early visual representations known as ‘shape skeletons’. Other work has studied more deliberative tasks: For example, another project of mine found that estimates of where a physical object will balance are surprisingly inaccurate, because they are subtly intruded on by the segmentation of objects into parts. On the other hand, a complementary line of work has explored whether what we see is affected by what we think. A tidal wave of recent research has reported that our desires, emotions, actions, and even the languages we speak can literally and directly change what we see. However, I have investigated ways in which such alleged “top-down” effects are not what they initially seem; indeed, a recent paper of mine is titled “There are no (interesting) top-down effects on perception”. In these ways, I am interested in how perception interacts with — and fails to interact with — the rest of the mind.