Staff & Student Members

Simone FavalleDr Simone Favelle

BSc(Hons), PhD (UOW)

I have been working at the University of Wollongong since 2004, after having completed my PhD here. My research interests are in investigating the different kinds of visual information used in the perception and recognition of novel objects and faces as well as more applied projects involving visual cues in aviation. I lecture in Visual Cognition and Statistics.

Object Recognition

Despite sometimes massive variations in the retinal images produced by objects in the visual environment, our ability to recognise them is rarely disrupted. What information in the visual environment is being exploited to allow us to recognise objects as the same or discriminate between different ones? I, along with my collaborators Will Hayward,  Darren Burke and Steve Palmisano have employed change detection and visual search paradigms to isolate the configural and part information that is important in the perception and recognition of 3D novel objects. Steve Palmisano and I are currently investigating the role of attention, timing and lower level perceptual factors involved with the processing of configural information in object perception.

sf object recognition


sf respond diagram


Keane, S.K., Hayward, W.G., & Burke, D. (2003). Detection of three types of changes to novel objects. Visual Cognition, 10, 101-127.

Favelle, S.K., Palmisano, S., Burke, D., & Hayward, W.G. (2006). The Role of Attention in Processing Configural and Shape Information in 3D Novel Objects. Visual Cognition, 13(5), 623-642.

Favelle, S.K., Hayward, W.G., Burke, D., & Palmisano, S. (in press). The configural advantage in object change detection persists across depth rotation. Perception & Psychophysics.

Keane, S., & Palmisano, S. (2004).  What can change blindness tell us about the visual processing of complex objects? Proceedings of the 39 th APS Annual Conference . pp. 148-151.

Face Recognition

The human face is a complex visual stimulus that conveys important social, biological and identity information to other people. Faces share common features (eyes, nose, mouth, etc) in a mostly common layout (two eyes above a nose with a mouth below). What sets face processing apart from other object processing is the reliance on information about the distances between features (second-order relations). In research with Darren Burke we investigate attention and the processing of configural and featural information in both novel and famous faces.

Steve Palmisano and I are working on a project investigating the tolerance of human face recognition to various types of noise, including rotation. We have created a database of faces at different rotations around the pitch and yaw axes (see example below).

object recognition 


Favelle, S., Palmisano, S. & Maloney, R. (2005) Viewpoint Dependent Performance For Faces Rotated About Pitch And Yaw Axes. Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 46 th Annual Meeting, 10, 128.

Applied Projects

on applied projects including investigating the use of visual cues in timing the flare manoeuvre when landing a plane, the role of attention and visual information in train driving errors, and the relationship between vection and motion sickness.


Palmisano, S., & Keane, S.K. (2004).  Effects of visual jitter on visual-vestibular interaction during vection. Proceedings of the 39 th APS Annual Conference. pp. 221-224.

Palmisano, S., Warner, R.K., & Favelle, S. (2006). Scene Complexity and Lighting Effect Driver Error During Train Simulation Proceedings of the 2006 SimTech Conference, Accepted 16/12/05.

Contact: Simone Favelle

Last reviewed: 24 February, 2012