Paola Bressan



  


Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale, Università di Padova


Research interests

Lightness, color, and motion; visual illusions; visual attention; perception of family resemblances; evolutionary psychology; psychology of chance, coincidences and surprise.

Click here if you are curious about the figures on this site (and my current projects).




book cover

                         LEGGI ALCUNE PAGINE DEL MIO LIBRO
Bressan, P. Il colore della luna. Come vediamo e perché. Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2007
                                        (O VAI AL BLOG DEL LIBRO)

                          VINCITORE DEL PREMIO GIOVANNI MARIA PACE 
              PER IL MIGLIOR LIBRO ITALIANO DI DIVULGAZIONE SCIENTIFICA



Member of the Board of Editors

The Open Psychology Journal

Ad hoc reviewer for

Psychological Review, Proceedings of the Royal Society, Psychological Science, PLoS ONE, Cortex, Perception, Perception & Psychophysics, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Evolution & Human Behavior, Psychological Research, Animal Cognition, Perceptual and Motor Skills, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Social Behavior and Personality, Human Nature, Journal of the Optical Society of America, Acta Psychologica, Cognition.

My work has been covered by

Nature; Scientific American; Reuters Health, Psychology Today (USA); The Telegraph (UK); Bild der Wissenschaft, Der Spiegel, Der Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit, Stern, Focus (Germany); SonntagsZeitung (Switzerland); Het Parool (Holland); Newton Japan; The Tribune (India); Klik Magazin (Croatia); Krstarica Magazin (Serbia); Yahoo! Noticias-Salud; St. Jude Medical Center Health News; iVillage Health News; La Repubblica, L'Espresso, La Stampa, Il Messaggero, Il Nuovo, Il Gazzettino, Il Mattino, La Sicilia, Il Sole 24 Ore, Focus, Newton, Mente e Cervello (Italy).


Selected publications

[Color and lightness]  [Visual attention]  [Motion]  [Depth]  [Visual illusions]  [Books and chapters (in Italian)]  [Edited volumes]  [Chance and coincidences]  [Perception of family resemblances]  [Evolutionary psychology of altruism and mate choice]

Conference presentations

[Paradoxical motion]  [Naive physics]




      Color and lightness

  • Gating of remote effects on lightness.
  • Bressan, P. and Kramer, P.
    Journal of Vision, 8(2):16, 1-8 (2008) Abstract & PDF
  • Dungeons, gratings, and black rooms: a defense of double-anchoring theory and a reply to Howe et al. (2007)
  • Bressan, P.
    Psychological Review, 114, 1111-1115 (2007) Abstract & PDF
  • The place of white in a world of grays: a double-anchoring theory of lightness perception.
  • Bressan, P.
    Psychological Review, 113, 526-553 (2006) Abstract & PDF
  • Inhomogeneous surrounds, conflicting frameworks, and the double-anchoring theory of lightness.
  • Bressan, P.
    Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 13, 22-32 (2006) Abstract & PDF
  • Simultaneous lightness contrast on plain and articulated surrounds.
  • Bressan, P. and Actis-Grosso, R.
    Perception, 35, 445-452 (2006) Abstract & PDF
  • The dark shade of the moon.
  • Bressan, P.
    Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 33, 574 (2005) PDF
  • Chromatic induction in neon colour spreading.
  • Da Pos, O. and Bressan, P.
    Vision Research, 43, 697-706 (2003) Abstract & PDF
  • A fair test of the effect of a shadow-incompatible luminance gradient on the simultaneous lightness contrast. Comment. Abstract & PDF
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 32, 721-723 (2003)
  • A fair test of the effect of a shadow-incompatible luminance gradient on the simultaneous lightness contrast. Reply to Logvinenko's reply.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 32, 725-730 (2003)
  • Explaining lightness illusions.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 30, 1031-1046 (2001) Abstract & PDF
  • Simultaneous lightness contrast with double increments.
  • Bressan, P. and Actis-Grosso, R.
    Perception, 30, 889-897 (2001) Abstract & PDF
  • Contextual effects on colour appearance: lightness and colour induction, transparency, and illumination. Guest editorial.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 26, 375-378 (1997)
  • Neon color spreading: a review.
  • Bressan, P., Mingolla, E., Spillmann, L., and Watanabe, T.
    Perception, 26, 1353-1366 (1997) Abstract & PDF
  • A closer look at the dependence of neon color spreading on wavelength and illuminance.
  • Bressan, P.
    Vision Research, 35, 375-379 (1995) Abstract & PDF
  • Revisitation of the luminance conditions for the occurrence of the achromatic neon color spreading illusion.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception & Psychophysics, 54, 55-64 (1993) Abstract
  • Neon color spreading with and without its figural prerequisites.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 22, 353-361 (1993) Abstract
  • Illusory depth from moving subjective figures and neon color spreading.
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 20, 637-644 (1991) Abstract & PDF


      Visual attention

  • Visual attentional capture predicts belief in a meaningful world.
  • Bressan, P., Kramer, P. and Germani, M.
    Cortex, 44, 1299-1306 (2008) Abstract & PDF
  • The attentional cost of inattentional blindness.
  • Bressan, P. and Pizzighello, S.
    Cognition, 106, 370-383 (2008) Abstract & PDF
  • Auditory attention causes visual inattentional blindness.
  • Pizzighello, S. and Bressan, P.
    Perception, 37, 859-866 (2008) Abstract & PDF


      Motion

  • The barberpole illusion depends on contrast.
  • Vezzani, S. and Bressan, P.
    Ricerche di Psicologia, 23, 69-81 (1999) Abstract & PDF
  • A new motion illusion related to the aperture problem.
  • Bressan, P. and Vezzani, S.
    Perception, 24, 1165-1176 (1995) Abstract
  • What induces capture in motion capture?
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Vision Research, 33, 2109-2112 (1993) Abstract
  • The role of depth stratification in the solution of the aperture problem.
  • Bressan, P., Ganis, G., and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 22 , 215-228 (1993)
  • Occlusion and the perception of coherent motion.
  • Vallortigara, G. and Bressan, P. Vision Research, 31, 1967-1978 (1991)
  • A context-dependent illusion in the perception of velocity.
  • Bressan, P.
    Vision Research, 31, 333-336 (1991)
  • Wheels: a new illusion in the perception of rolling objects.
  • Vicario, G.B. and Bressan, P.
    Perception, 19, 57-61 (1990)
  • The perception of 3-dimensional affine structure from minimal apparent motion sequences.
  • Todd, J.T. and Bressan, P.
    Perception & Psychophysics, 48, 419-430 (1990)


      Depth

  • Solving occlusion indeterminacy in chromatically homogeneous patterns.
  • Tommasi, L., Bressan, P., and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 24, 391-403 (1995) Abstract
  • Occlusion, transparency, and stereopsis: a new explanation for stereocapture.
  • Vallortigara, G. and Bressan, P.
    Vision Research, 34, 2891-2896 (1994) Abstract
  • Motion aftereffects with rotating ellipses.
  • Bressan, P., Tomat, L., and Vallortigara, G.
    Psychological Research, 54, 240-245 (1992) Abstract
  • Illusory depth from moving subjective figures and neon color spreading.
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 20, 637-644 (1991) Abstract
  • Perceptual alternations in stereokinesis.
  • Vallortigara, G., Bressan, P., and Bertamini, M.
    Perception, 17, 31-34 (1988)
  • Learning to see stereokinetic effects.
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 16, 187-192 (1987)
  • Stereokinesis with moving visual phantoms.
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 16, 73-78 (1987)
  • Subjective contours can produce stereokinetic effects.
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 15, 409-412 (1986)
  • Multiple 3-D interpretations in a classic stereokinetic effect.
  • Bressan, P. and Vallortigara, G.
    Perception, 15, 405-408 (1986)
  • The Saturn illusion: a new stereokinetic effect.
  • Vallortigara, G., Bressan, P., and Zanforlin, M.
    Vision Research, 26, 811-813 (1986)


      Visual illusions

  • Antigravity hills are visual illusions.
  • Bressan, P., Garlaschelli, L. and Barracano, M.
    Psychological Science, 14, 441-449 (2003) Abstract & PDF

    read coverage in Bild der Wissenschaft (in German)
    download (260K) coverage in Die Zeit (in German)

  • Going round in circles: shape effects in the Ebbinghaus illusion.
  • Rose, D. and Bressan, P.
    Spatial Vision, 15, 191-203 (2002) Abstract & PDF
  • Vicario's illusion of sloping steps reexamined.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 16, 671-675 (1987)
  • Subjective rarefaction in illusory figures: the inadequacy of apparent lightness as an explanation.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 16, 461-466 (1987)
  • Revisitation of the family tie between Münsterberg and Taylor-Woodhouse illusions.
  • Bressan, P.
    Perception, 14, 579-585 (1985)


     Books, chapters, articles for the general public (in Italian)

  • Il colore della Luna e altri inganni.
  • Bressan, P.
    Coelum Astronomia, 11 (108), luglio-agosto, 34-39 (2007)
  • Il colore della luna. Come vediamo e perché.
  • Bressan, P.
    Roma-Bari: Laterza (2007)  Blog
  • La percezione dello spazio.
  • Bressan, P.
    In: F. Purghè, N. Stucchi, A. Olivero (Eds), La Percezione Visiva. Torino: Utet, pp 390-410 (1999) Contents
  • Le costanze visive.
  • Bressan, P.
    In: F. Purghè, N. Stucchi, A. Olivero (Eds), La Percezione Visiva. Torino: Utet, pp 653-672 (1999) Contents
  • La Percezione Visiva.
  • Bressan, P.
    Padova: CLEUP (1992)


     Edited volumes

  • Special Issue: Contextual Effects on Colour Appearance, I. Lightness and Colour Induction, Transparency, and Illumination.
  • Bressan, P. and Spillmann, L. (Eds)
    Perception, 26 (4), 1997 Contents
  • Special Issue: Contextual Effects on Colour Appearance, II. Neon Colour Spreading, Surface Properties, and Motion.
  • Spillmann, L. and Bressan, P. (Eds)
    Perception, 26 (11), 1997 Contents


     Chance and coincidences

  • The connection between random sequences, everyday coincidences, and belief in the paranormal.
  • Bressan, P.
    Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16, 17-34 (2002) Abstract & PDF

    leggi come i quotidiani hanno riportato la notizia (ovvero: dobbiamo credere ai giornali?)



      Perception of family resemblances

  • Parental resemblance in one-year-olds and the Gaussian curve.
  • Bressan, P. and Grassi, M.
    Evolution and Human Behavior, 25, 133-141 (2004) Abstract & PDF


  • Talis pater, talis filius: perceived resemblance and the belief in genetic relatedness.
  • Bressan, P. and Dal Martello, M.F.
    Psychological Science, 13, 213-218 (2002) Abstract & PDF

    read coverage in Psychology Today
    download (8K) coverage in Reuters Health
    download (160K) coverage in Der Spiegel (in German )

  • Why babies look like their daddies: paternity uncertainty and the evolution of self-deception in evaluating family resemblance.
  • Bressan, P.
    Acta Ethologica, 4, 113-118 (2002) Abstract & PDF

    read coverage in Nature ("Deception fuels domestic bliss", 21 November 2001)
    download (32K) coverage in Der Tagesspiegel (in German)
    download (24K) coverage in Het Parool (in Dutch)



     Evolutionary psychology of altruism and mate choice

  • Human kin recognition is self- rather than family-referential.
  • Bressan, P. and Zucchi, G.
    Biology Letters, 5, 336-338 (2009)  Abstract & PDF
    ORIGINAL PDF FREE FOR DOWNLOAD FROM THE ROYAL SOCIETY WEBSITE TILL FEBRUARY 28, 2010

    read coverage in the Telegraph ("We are friendlier to people who resemble us, scientists find", 4 March 2009)
    read coverage in Focus ("Je ähnlicher, desto hilfsbereiter", 4 March 2009)
    read coverage in Stern ("Gleich und gleich hilft sich gern", 4 March 2009)
    read coverage in Wissenschaft ("Das eigene Gesicht als unbewusster Standard", 4 March 2009)

  • Biologically costly altruism depends on emotional closeness among step but not half or full siblings.
  • Bressan, P., Colarelli, S. M., Cavalieri, M. B.
    Evolutionary Psychology, 7, 118-132 (2009)  Abstract & PDF


  • The best men are (not always) already taken: Female preference for single versus attached males depends on conception risk.
  • Bressan, P. and Stranieri, D.
    Psychological Science, 19, 145-151 (2008)  Abstract & PDF

    read coverage in Nature ("Fertile wives find single men sexy", 26 February 2008)

  • Men do not have a stronger preference than women for self-resemblant child faces.
  • Bressan, P., Bertamini, M., Nalli, A., and Zanutto, A.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior, in press (published online ahead of print, 28 March 2008)  Abstract & PDF

Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale
Università di Padova
Via Venezia 8
35131 Padova, Italy
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site design and artwork by Paola Bressan
last updated on December 3, 2009