Welcome to the NOVA Lab at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The lab is directed by Dr. Ipek Oruc and is part of the Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Group within the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. We are located on the 4th floor of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, home of ICORD, at Vancouver General Hospital.

We study visual recognition of high level forms such as faces, letters and objects. Our purpose is to advance the understanding of the brain mechanisms and processes responsible for visual recognition. We investigate the nature of neural computations that support normal high-level visual function as well as the disruptions to these that result in visual impairments. We use a wide variety of methodologies from behavioral and psychophysical experimentation, to computational modeling, and neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG). Potential applications of this line of research include methods to improve performance in everyday tasks, such as face recognition, and rehabilitation paradigms to restore normal function in cases of impaired recognition due to brain disorders such as prosopagnosia (face blindness), or developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.

Latest news and publications

Psychological Science

Oruc, I., Shafai, F., Iarocci, G. (2018). Link between facial identity and expression abilities suggestive of origins of face impairments in autism: support for the social motivation hypothesis. Psychological Science, accepted.

Vision Research

Oruc, I., Shafai, F., Lages P., Ton, T., Murthy, S. (2018). The adult face-diet: A naturalistic observation study. Vision Research, in press.

Vision Research

Shafai, F., Oruc, I. (2018). Qualitatively similar processing for own- and other-race faces: Evidence from efficiency and equivalent input noise. Vision Research, 143: 58-65.

Congratulations to Fakhri!

Fakhri Shafai receives the 2017 Margaret L. Adamson award from UBC Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.