Treisman, Anne

Treisman, Anne, 1935–2018, British cognitive psychologist, b. Anne Marie Taylor, Ph.D. Oxford, 1962. She taught at Oxford from 1968, the Univ. of British Columbia from 1978, Univ. of California, Berkeley, from 1986, and Princeton from 1993 until her retirement in 2010. Treisman began studying auditory perception but soon switched to visual perception, and worked on developing an understanding of human visual attention, object perception, and memory. She is best known for feature integration theory, which was first proposed in an article coauthored with Garry Gelade in 1980. The theory states that characteristics, or features, of an object, such as its color, shape, and size, are first perceived independently and only integrated by the brain into a recognition of the object as a whole when attention is selectively directed at the object's location. Feature integration theory, which can explain how both the perception and misperception of objects occurs, has been extremely influential in psychology and neuroscience, and also has been used in such practical applications as improving railroad and traffic signals. From 1978 until her death she was married to the psychologist Daniel Kahneman.

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