Secretary: Francesca Minniti
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Dirk Kerzel is a full professor of Cognitive Psychology in the Psychology Department of the University of Geneva.
Prof. Kerzel studied psychology and psycholinguistics at the University of Bielefeld where he earned his diploma in 1997. His doctoral and postdoctoral work at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich was on biases in visual short-term memory induced by body movements. He received his doctor’s degree and habilitation at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich in 1999 and 2002, respectively. Prior to his appointment in Geneva in 2004, he was a research fellow at the University of Giessen.
His current research is on attentional selectivity (see publication list). Given the strong limitations of our cognitive system, attention selects about four items for in-depth processing from the large amount of information available in the environment. Prof. Kerzel investigates how selection is affected by eye movements and the saliency of visual stimuli. For instance, stimuli may be salient because they are threatening and capture attention despite our intention to ignore them.
Prof. Kerzel teaches undergraduate classes on cognitive psychology and perception as well as graduate classes on attention, executive functions and programming (see teaching schedule).