Jon Freeman is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at New York University and director of the Social Cognitive & Neural Sciences Lab. He received his Ph.D. from Tufts University and was on the faculty at Dartmouth College before coming to NYU in 2014.
He studies split-second social perception—how we use facial cues to categorize other people into social groups and perceive their personality traits and emotion. He treats this as a fundamentally dynamic process, and is interested in how basic visual perception of other people may be shaped by stereotypes and biases, prior knowledge, and other aspects of social cognition. He studies the interplay of visual and social processes in perceptual and interpersonal decisions, including the roles of specific facial features, social context, and individual differences. He additionally examines how the brain represents social categories and core trait dimensions of other people, and how initial perceptions influence downstream behavior and real-world outcomes. He takes an integrative and multi-level approach in examining these phenomena, incorporating insights across social psychology and the cognitive, vision, and neural sciences. His studies use a wide range of methodologies, including neuroimaging, real-time behavioral techniques (mouse-tracking), computational modeling, and electrophysiology. He is also the developer of the data collection and analysis software, MouseTracker.
Dr. Freeman is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles and the recipient of a number of awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Early Career Award from the Society for Social Neuroscience, the SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality & Social Psychology, and the Early Career Award from the International Social Cognition Network. He was also named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. His work has appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and TIME Magazine.