Department of Psychology and Counselling
School of Psychology and Public Health
La Trobe University
p.chouinard at latrobe.edu.au
I am originally from Canada. I studied Biology and Cognitive Neuroscience at McGill University and then moved to the University of Western Ontario where I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Associate / Assistant Professor in Psychology. I studied under Gabriel Leonard and Tomas Paus at McGill and Melvyn Goodale at Western. I then joined the Department of Psychology and Counselling at La Trobe University in 2014.
My research consists of the following four strands in children and adults from typical, neurological, and special (in particular, ASD) populations:
- How vision is used for perception and action. Why do we need vision? Vision enables us to perceive objects and guide actions to make use of them. My colleagues and I explore how these behaviours are dissociable and how they interact.
- Selecting actions based on concepts. Would you pick-up a sharp knife by its blade? Most likely not. Many actions require us to recognise and retrieve the meaning of an object, and understand the context of the presentation, before an action can be selected. My colleagues and I explore these interactions and how we learn to form new associations between objects and actions.
- Optical illusions. Does what we ‘see’ always match what is real? Definitely not. Optical illusions reveal how we do not rely solely on our eyes for perception. They demonstrate how our knowledge and biases make us see what we expect or want to see. My colleagues and I explore how we construct these perceptions.
- Visual consciousness. Do we process information without being aware of it? Yes we do! My colleagues and I are characterising conscious versus non-conscious perception using techniques such as continuous flash suppression and virtual reality to help unravel the mysteries of consciousness.