John Philbeck

John W Philbeck

Chair of the Department of Psychology and Professor, Cognitive Neuroscience
Room 310
Address: 2125 G St NW
Washington, District Of Columbia
Phone: 202-994-6313
[email protected]

Current Research

My research investigates the psychological and neural processes underlying how we use vision to determine where we are, and how we remain oriented while moving about.  To study these issues, I test the perceptual abilities of people from a wide range of ages, including individuals who have suffered certain forms of brain injury.  I am especially interested in how the brain constructs representations of object distances at very brief time-scales.  Our ability to take in information rapidly can get slowed down by a variety of real-world factors, from fast-moving, high-workload environments to normal aging.  I study the impact of these factors on how we localize objects and how our visual system flexibly compensates for these slow-downs.


Ph.D. 1997, University of California, Santa Barbara


Philbeck, J. W. & Witt, J. K.  (2015).  Action-specific Influences on perception and post-perceptual processes: Present controversies and future directions.  [[Both authors contributed equally.]] Psychological Bulletin, 141, 1120–1144.

Gajewski, D., Wallin, C., & Philbeck, J. W. (2014).  Gaze direction and the extraction of egocentric distance.  Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 76, 1739-1751.

Yamamoto, N., Philbeck, J. W., Woods, A. J., Gajewski, D. A., Arthur, J. C., Potolicchio, Jr., S. J., Levy, L., & Caputy, A. J. (2014).  Medial temporal lobe roles in human path integration.  PLoS ONE, 9(5): e96583.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096583.

Gajewski, D. A., Wallin, C. P., & Philbeck, J. W. (2014). Gaze behavior and the perception of egocentric distance.  Journal of Vision. 14(1):20, 1-19.

Gajewski, D., Philbeck, J. W., Wirtz, P., & Chichka, D. (2014).  Angular declination and the dynamic perception of egocentric distance.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 40, 361-377.

Arthur, J. C., Philbeck, J. W., Kleene, N. J., & Chichka, D.  (2012).  The role of spatial memory and frames of reference in the precision of angular path integration.  Acta Psychologica, 141, 112-121. 

Gajewski, D., Philbeck, J. W., Pothier, S., & Chichka, D. (2010). From the most fleeting of glimpses: On the time course for the extraction of distance information. Psychological Science, 21(10), 1446-1453.

Woods, A.J., Philbeck, J. W, & Danoff, J.   (2009).  The various perceptions of distance:  An alternative view of how effort affects distance judgments.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Human Perception & Performance, 35(4), 1104-1117.

Philbeck, J. W., Behrmann, M., Levy, L. & Potolicchio, Jr., S. J., & Caputy, A. J. (2004). Path integration deficits during linear locomotion after human medial temporal lobectomy. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16(4), 510-520.

Philbeck, J. W., Klatzky, R. K., Behrmann, M., Loomis, J. M., & Goodridge, J. (2001). Active control facilitates non-visual navigation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 27, 141-153.

Philbeck, J. W., Loomis, J. M., & Beall, A. C. (1997). Visually perceived location is an invariant in the control of action. Perception & Psychophysics, 59, 601-612.