Thomas James

Thomas James

Professor, Psychological And Brain Sciences


  • Ph.D., the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, 2001

Research interests

My research is involved with discovering the neural mechanisms underlying human object recognition and representation. I use a combination of experimental techniques, including functional MRI and psychophysics to explore these questions. I see object representations as multi-sensory. In other words, object representations are sensory in nature, as opposed to being amodal constructs, and object representations are not uni-sensory (e.g., purely visual). Multi-sensory object representations are conceived as an ecological solution for various cognitive phenomena such as object perception and memory and the storage and retrieval of semantic knowledge.


The Perception and Neuroimaging (PAN) laboratory is housed within the Psychology Building. In addition to psychophysics testing rooms, we have access to the on-site 3T Siemens functional MRI facility. This allows the use of multiple techniques (i.e., behavior and neuroimaging) to address questions, which is one of the foundations of cognitive neuroscience.

Representative publications

Ventral occipital lesions impair object recognition but not object‐directed grasping: an fMRI study (2003)
Thomas W James, Jody Culham, G Keith Humphrey, A David Milner and Melvyn A Goodale
Brain, 126 (11), 2463-2475

Dissertation Committee Service

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Kim, SunAh Neural Mechanisms of Multisensory Visuo-Haptic Object Recognition (August 2010) James, T. (Chair), Puce, A. (Co-Chair), Craig, J., James, K.
Klein, Krystal Vocabulary Acquisition via Cross-Situational Learning (December 2009) Yu, C. (Chair), Shiffrin, R., James, K., Smith, L.
Lee, Sungyoung Understanding Available Resources During TV Message Processing: Audio/Video Redundancy, Emotion, Structural Complexity, and Motivated Cognition (August 2009) Lang, A. (Co-Chair), James, T. (Co-Chair), Potter, R., Fox, J.
Lee, Young Lim Metric Shape Can Be Perceived Accurately And Used Both For Object Recognition and Visually Guided Action (September 2009) Bingham, G. (Co-Chair), Busey, T., James, T. (Co-Chair), Hanson, A (Co-Chair).
Nelson, Angela Examining the Co-Evolution of Knowledge and Event Memory (August 2009) Shiffrin, R. (Co-Chair), Goldstone, R. (Co-Chair), Busey, T., James, K.
Stanton, Roger Dissociations of Classification: Evidence against the Multiple Learning-Systems Hypothesis (August 2007) Nosofsky, R. (Chair), Goldstone, R., James, T., Kruschke, J.