Hi, you’ve reached my portfolio! I graduated as part of the inaugural class of Yale-NUS College (in beautiful Singapore!). I majored in Philosophy, Politics & Economics (guess my favorite of all three!), but loved exploring my questions through experiments at the Yale-NUS Cognition and Attention Lab. I used to figure skate, but now I (teach) ballroom dance. While doing ballroom competitively brought me to countries around the Asia-Pacific, teaching ballroom led me to elderly centers around Singapore. Through this exposure, I found myself advocating and working for and with the elderly at ACCESS Health International (check out their work here!). 

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We live in a continuously dynamic world, but our knowledge of how the mind works often focuses on the static. I like studying how we perceive, represent and think about dynamic objects and events, and creating beautiful dynamic stimuli to do so! I will be pursuing questions of the like and others at Yale University as a PhD student under Brian Scholl and his Perception and Cognition Lab.

Ongchoco, J.D.K., Reid, J., Liaw, G., Asplund, C.L. (2017). Distinct effects of spatial and temporal attention on the perception of contrast. Manuscript in preparation.

Visual attention can be deployed across space or time, potentially altering the appearance or probability of perceiving stimuli. Carrasco, Ling, & Read (2004) showed that spatial attention increased the perceived contrast of Gabor patches, whereas Asplund et al. (2014) showed that temporal attention affected only the probability of perceiving a color or face target in the attentional blink. Here we adopted Carrasco et al.’s psychophysical approach and stimuli to test whether temporal attention–altered either with cues or the attentional blink–could also have graded effects on conscious perception. After replicating the spatial attention findings, we used rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) streams of Gabor patches to explore the effects of temporal attention.

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Ongchoco, J.D.K., Uddenberg, S., Chun, M.M. (2016). Statistical learning of movement. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

The environment is dynamic, but objects move in predictable and characteristic ways, whether they are a dancer in motion, or a bee buzzing around in flight. Sequences of movement are comprised of simpler motion trajectory elements chained together. But how do we know where one trajectory element ends and another begins, much like we parse words from continuous streams of speech? As a novel test of statistical learning, we explored the ability to parse continuous movement sequences into simpler element trajectories. Across four experiments, we showed that people can robustly parse such sequences from a continuous stream of trajectories under increasingly stringent tests of segmentation ability and statistical learning.

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Other Interests

Aside from asking questions about the mind, I like thinking about the self, imagination, judgment, and so on! My three favourite philosophers at the moment are Rousseau, Nietzsche and Kant! They inspire questions I think about within Psychology, from questions on dynamic movement perception, time perception and the imagination! 

Glimpses of Dance

When I came to Singapore, I hung up my ice skates and found myself on the ballroom floor. At first, I struggled to dance with another person moving with me. Today, it is probably one of my favorite things about the art form. At Yale-NUS, I founded the Ballroom Team (you can check out our work here!).

Say hello!

Drop me a message–whether to reach out, reconnect, or talk about an idea or two!