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Pascal Mamassian

Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs

CNRS Director of Research, Head of LSP
Free field
Research Interests: Visual perception, Bayesian modeling, 3D perception, cross-modal perception, motion perception, time perception, sequential effects in perception, visual confidence

29 rue d'Ulm

75005 Paris France


2nd floor, room 226
+33 (0) 1 44 32 27 91
Selected publications
International Journal article  

Gekas, N., Meso, A., Masson, G. & Mamassian, P. (2017). A Normalization Mechanism for Estimating Visual Motion across Speeds and Scales. Current Biology, 27(10), 1514-1520.e3. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.022

International Journal article  

Mamassian, P. (2016). Visual Confidence. Annual Review of Vision Science, 2, 459-481. doi:10.1146/annurev-vision-111815-114630

International Journal article  

Wexler, M., Duyck, M. & Mamassian, P. (2015). Persistent states in vision break universality and time invariance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(48), 14990-14995. doi:10.1073/pnas.1508847112

International Journal article  

Simoncini, C., Perrinet, L., Montagnini, A., Mamassian, P. & Masson, G. (2012). More is not always better: adaptive gain control explains dissociation between perception and action. Nature Neuroscience, 15(11), 1596-1603. doi:10.1038/nn.3229

Short Biography

Pascal Mamassian was born in Lyon (France) and was trained in Telecommunication Engineering (Sup' Télécom, Paris, France). He then obtained a Masters in Cognitive Sciences (Univ. Paris 6 & EHESS, Paris, France) and a PhD in Experimental and Biological Psychology (Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA). He has worked at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Tübingen, Germany) and New York University (New York, USA). He was at the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, UK) as lecturer and then senior lecturer before taking a researcher position at the CNRS (France).

Research Interests

How do we perceive the world around us? Research in my group focuses on mid-level vision, the link between the detection of elementary features in an image and the awareness of natural scenes. Current research topics include visual confidence (meta-perception), adaptation at different time-scales, three-dimensional perception (binocular, motion, and pictorial cues), cross-modal integration (vision-audition), temporal dynamics of perception (in particular bistable perception), and probabilistic modelling of perception (Bayesian models).


I have taught experimental psychology at the University of Glasgow and product design at the Glasgow School of Arts. I now give a few lectures in the masters of cognitive sciences from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, EHESS, Universités Paris 5 and Paris 6, and I have been co-ordinating the Psychology strand of this masters degree.

  • Assistant editor for the following scientific journals: Journal of Vision (2006-), Perception (2009-), i-Perception (2009-), L'Année Psychologique (2006-), Psychological Review (2015-). -- Past assistant editor for the following scientific journals: Psychological Science (2007-2016), PLoS ONE (2011-2016).
  • Elected member of the board of directors of the Vision Sciences Society (2007-2012), and president of that society in 2010-2011. -- Co-organizer of the European Conference in Visual Perception in Glasgow in 2002 (with David Simmons).
  • Founding director of the GDR-vision (still active), a virtual structure that links together all the French laboratories interested in vision (2007-2014). -- Founder of the Scottish Vision Group (SVG; still active) in 2000 and co-organizer of the 1st SVG meeting in the Burn, Glenesk, in 2001 (with Martin Lages).
  • Co-ordinator of the European-funded Research Training Network called Perception for Recognition and Action (2002-2006).
  • Elected member of the Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique, section 27 (2008-2012). -- Nominated member of section 26 (2012-2016).
  • Founding director of the Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, a CNRS research unit hosted at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (2014-).