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We are extremely visual animals, and also extremely social animals. While these disparate aspects of our nature are often studied in isolation, my research seeks to combine these two fields in new and creative ways, asking questions of social perception with the experimental rigor of the latest vision science methods. I study how what we see can be influenced by such diverse factors as our current emotional states and prior experiences. For example, I have shown that positive mood (relative to negative or neutral mood) can broaden perceptual tuning for primitive visual features (such as direction of motion) through the unconscious relaxation of attentional filters. In another line of research, I am investigating the nature of our “default” face representations, or those unconscious inferences the visual system makes when processing faces. This work uses a novel instantiation of the classic method of serial reproduction using face stimuli, in order to characterize our biases in recreating faces from memory. These are just a couple of ways in which I am exploring how vision is tuned to extract (or be influenced by) social information.