Jim Schirillo

Professor of Psychology
(336) 758-4233
Greene Hall 428

Click Here for a List of Publications including PDF’s


I work in four research areas that examine how humans perceive the external world.

The perception of color and illumination: I use specialized computer equipment to generate colored perceptual illusions of either 2- or 3-dimensional scenes to determine how illumination affects the colors we see.

  • Heckman, G.M., Muday, J.A., & Schirillo, J.A. (2005). Chromatic shadow-compatibility and cone-excitation ratios. The Journal of the Optical Society of America: A, 22, 401-415. [PDF]
  • Perkins, K.R., & Schirillo, J.A. (2003). Three-dimensional spatial grouping affects estimates of the illuminant. The Journal of the Optical Society of America: A, 20, 2246-2253. [PDF]

Multi-sensory integration: I study how humans combine sights and sounds into a single, unified experience. This is exemplified by the way a ventriloquist can trick us into perceiving that their voice is coming from the location of a dummy’s mouth. I also do some related work with Dr. Ramnarayan Ramachandran at Bowman Gray’s Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. His work involves parallel animal and neurophysiological studies involving the superior colliculus.

  • Collins, L. & Schirillo, J.A. (2013) Attention to endogenous and exogenous cues affects auditory localization.  Experimental Brain Research, 231(1),13-18. [PDF]                                                   
  • Bowen, A., Ramachandran, R., Muday, J.A. & Schirillo, J.A.(2011) Visual Signals Bias Auditory Targets in Azimuth and Depth. Experimental Brain Research, 214(3), 403-414. [PDF]

Gestalt grouping principles: I study the Gestalt grouping principles, such as how the proximity and similarity of colored dots interact depending on their spatial arrangement. I do this work in collaboration with the Dr. Michael Kubovy from the Psychology Department at the University of Virginia.

  • Moon, P., Muday, J., Rayner, S., Schirillo, J., Taylor, R. & Fairbanks, M. (2014). Fractal images produce fractal pupil dilations, International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93, 316-321. [PDF]
  • van den Berg, M., Kubovy, M. & Schirillo, J.A.(2011). Grouping by Regularity and the Perception of Illumination. Vision Research, 51, 1360-1371. [PDF]

Aesthetic Preferences: My interest in aesthetics follows from my work in perception. I use an eye-tracker to determine how the hemispheric laterality of the human brain influences judgments of the emotional content of portraits painted by Rembrandt. I also study the works of the abstract artist Mondrian.

  • Hayes, T., Muday, J. & Schirillo, J. (2013) Hemispheric Laterality Measured In Several Generations of Portraits Using Pupil Diameter and Aesthetic Verbal Judgments. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7(3), 276-284. [PDF]
  • Plumhoff, J.E. & Schirillo, J.A. (2009). Mondrian, eye movements, and the oblique effect. Perception, 38, 719-731. [PDF]