Steven Franconeri Professor

Program Area(s):



Visual Cognition; Data Visualization; Visuospatial Thinking in STEM (Science, Technology, Education, & Math); Graph Comprehension; Visual Communication; Effective communication of analyses and evidence.

Research Interests

We study visual thinking and communication: how it works, and how we can make it work better. At our Visual Thinking Laboratory, a team of researchers explore how leveraging the visual system - the largest single system in your brain - can help people think, remember, and communicate more efficiently. Our basic research is inspired by real-world problems, guiding our laboratory toward the most interesting theoretical questions, while producing results that translate directly to science, education, design, and industry. 

Selected Publications (See lab page for all publications)

Lovett, A. & Franconeri, S. L. (in press). Topological relations between objects are categorically coded. Psychological Science. 

Michal, A. L., Uttal, D., Shah, P., & Franconeri, S. L. (2016). Visual routines for extracting magnitude relations. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(6), 1802-1809.

Albers, D.A., Haroz, S., Gleicher, M., &, Franconeri, S.L. (2015). Four Types of Ensemble Encoding in Data Visualizations. Journal of Vision 16(11), Vol.16, 11. doi:10.1167/16.5.11

Haroz, S., Kosara, R., & Franconeri, S. L. (2015). The connected scatterplot technique for presenting paired time series data. Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG).

Haroz, S., Kosara, R., & Franconeri, S. L. (2015). ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Cognitive Load, and Engagement with Pictographs. Proceedings of ACM CHI 2015. 

Xu, Y. Q. & Franconeri S. L. (2015). The capacity for visual features in mental rotation. Psychological Science, 26(8), 1241-1251. 

Choo, H. & Franconeri, S. L. (2013). Enumeration of small collections violates Weber's Law. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21, 93-99.

Xu, Y. Q., Suzuki, S., & Franconeri, S. L. (2013). Shifting selection may control apparent motion. Psychological Science, 24(10), 2131.

Franconeri, S. L.,  Alvarez, G. A., & Cavanagh, P. C. (2013). Flexible cognitive resources: Competitive content maps for attention and memory. Trends in Cognitive Science, 17(3), 134-141.

Xu, Y. Q. & Franconeri, S. L. (2012). The head of the table: The location of the spotlight of attention may determine the ‘front’ of ambiguous objects. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(4), 1408-1412.

Levinthal, B. & Franconeri, S. L. (2011). Common fate grouping as feature selection. Psychological Science, 22(9), 1132-1137. 

Franconeri, S. L., Jonathan, S., & Scimeca, J. M. (2010). Tracking multiple objects is limited only by spatial interference, not speed, time, or capacity. Psychological Science, 21, 920-925.