Associate Professor Alexander Holcombe

Associate Professor of Psychology
Co-director, Centre for Time
Associate Editor, Perspectives on Psychological Science
Griffith Taylor Building, Rm 504

A19 - Griffith Taylor Building
The University of Sydney


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Lab and preprints
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Research interests

Moving objects are a problem for the human visual system because as their images move across the retina, they stimulate disparate neurons across cortex. Holcombe and his collaborators investigate how signals from different neurons' glimpses of a moving object areas are combined, as well as how temporal limits constrain tracking of important objects in a dynamic scene.

Holcombe also studies temporal aspects of the processing of stationary objects. Behavioral experiments, illustrated by the animations here, compare speed limits for different features and the dynamics of how these features are bound into a coherent percept.

Ongoing applications include assessing whether brain-damaged patients' temporal deficits are improved by magnetic brain stimulation, and testing the effect of naps on temporal processing.

Lab wiki

In the media

Selected grants

2014

  • Multisensory and configural processes in tracking moving targets; Holcombe A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2012

  • New agendas for the study of time: Connecting the disciplines; Price H, Rickles D, Holcombe A, Miller K; Templeton World Charity Foundation/Research Support.

2011

  • Perceiving and tracking moving objects; Holcombe A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2010

  • Position perception, object motion, attention and action; Holcombe A; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.

2009

  • Position perception, attention, object motion, and action; Holcombe A; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Future Fellowships (FT).

2007

  • Mobile computation in human perception and feature binding; Holcombe A, Cavanagh P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
  • Probing human visual feature binding; Holcombe A; University of Sydney/Newly Appointed Staff.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • McIntyre, S., Seizova-Cajic, T., Birznieks, I., Holcombe, A., Vickery, R. (2014). Adaptation to Motion Presented with a Tactile Array. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). [More Information]
  • Lo, S., Holcombe, A. (2014). How do we select multiple features? Transient costs for selecting two colors rather than one, persistent costs for color-location conjunctions. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 76(2), 304-321. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Chen, W., Howe, P. (2014). Object tracking: Absence of long-range spatial interference supports resource theories. Journal of Vision, 14(6), 1-21. [More Information]
  • Maruya, K., Holcombe, A., Nishida, S. (2013). Rapid encoding of relationships between spatially remote motion signals. Journal of Vision, 13(2), 1-20. [More Information]
  • Chen, W., Howe, P., Holcombe, A. (2013). Resource demands of object tracking and differential allocation of the resource. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 75(4), 710-725. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Chen, W. (2013). Splitting attention reduces temporal resolution from 7 Hz for tracking one object to (less than) 3 Hz when tracking three. Journal of Vision, 13(1), 1-19. [More Information]
  • Howe, P., Holcombe, A., Lapierre, M., Cropper, S. (2013). Visually tracking and localizing expanding and contracting objects. Perception, 42(12), 1281-1300. [More Information]
  • Saiki, J., Holcombe, A. (2012). Blindness to a simultaneous change of all elements in a scene, unless there is a change in summary statistics. Journal of Vision, 12(3), 1-11. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Chen, W. (2012). Exhausting attentional tracking resources with a single fast-moving object. Cognition, 123(2), 218-228. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Clifford, C. (2012). Failures to bind spatially coincident features: comment on Di Lollo. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(8). [More Information]
  • Lo, S., Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2012). Feature-based attentional interference revealed in perceptual errors and lags. Vision Research, 63(2012), 20-33. [More Information]
  • Howe, P., Holcombe, A. (2012). Motion information is sometimes used as an aid to the visual tracking of objects. Journal of Vision, 12(13), 1-10. [More Information]
  • McIntyre, S., Holcombe, A., Birznieks, I., Seizova-Cajic, T. (2012). Tactile Motion Adaptation Reduces Perceived Speed but Shows No Evidence of Direction Sensitivity. PloS One, 7(9), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Howe, P., Holcombe, A. (2012). The effect of visual distinctiveness on multiple object tracking performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(AUG), 1-7. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Linares, D., Vaziri-Pashkam, M. (2011). Perceiving spatial relationships via attentional tracking and shifting. Current Biology, 21(13), 1135-1139. [More Information]
  • Howard, C., Masom, D., Holcombe, A. (2011). Position representations lag behind targets in multiple object tracking. Vision Research, 51(17), 1907-1919. [More Information]
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2010). Unexpected changes in direction of motion attract attention. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 72(8), 2087-2095. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Altschuler, E., Over, H. (2009). A developmental theory of synaesthesia, with long historical roots: A comment on Hochel & Milán (2008). Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26(2), 227-229.
  • Holcombe, A. (2009). Seeing slow and seeing fast: two limits on perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(5), 216-221.
  • Holcombe, A. (2009). Temporal binding favours the early phase of colour changes, but not of motion changes, yielding the colour-motion asynchrony illusion. Visual Cognition, 17(1-2), 232-253.
  • Linares-Herreros, D., Holcombe, A., White, A. (2009). Where is the moving object now? Judgements of instantaneous position show poor temporal precision (SD = 70 ms). Journal of Vision, 9(13), 9-1-9-14.
  • Holcombe, A., Seizova-Cajic, T. (2008). Illusory motion reversals from unambiguous motion with visual, proprioceptive, and tactile stimuli. Vision Research, 48, 1743-1757.
  • Holcombe, A., Cavanagh, P. (2008). Independent, synchronous access to color and motion features. Cognition, 107, 552-580. [More Information]
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A., Chou, W. (2008). Mobile computation: Spatiotemporal integration of the properties of objects in motion. Journal of Vision, 8(12), 1-23.
  • Sumner, P., Holcombe, A., Grayson, L., Briscoe, J. (2008). Multisensory processing in autism spectrum disorders. Perception, 37(6), 965-965.
  • Linares-Herreros, D., Holcombe, A. (2008). Position perception: Influence of motion with displacement dissociated from the influence of motion alone. Journal of Neurophysiology, 100, 2472-2476.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2008). Tracking the changing features of multiple objects: Progressively poorer perceptual precision and progressively greater perceptual lag. Vision Research, 48, 1164-1180.
  • White, A., Linares-Herreros, D., Holcombe, A. (2008). Visuomotor timing compensates for changes in perceptual latency. Current Biology, 18(20), R951-R953. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Judson, J. (2007). Visual binding of English and Chinese word parts is limited to low temporal frequencies. Perception, 36(1), 49-74.
  • Holcombe, A. (2006). Provoking the desire. The Lancet, 368(9540), 990.
  • Kline, K., Holcombe, A., Eagleman, D. (2005). Illusory motion reversal does not imply discrete processing: Reply to Rojas et al. Vision Research, 46(6-7), 1158-1159.
  • Holcombe, A., Clifford, C., Eagleman, D., Pakarian, P. (2005). Illusory motion reversal in tune with motion detectors. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(12), 559-560.
  • Eagleman, D., Tse, P., Buonomano, D., Janssen, P., Nobre, A., Holcombe, A. (2005). Time and the Brain: How Subjective Time Relates to Neural Time. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25(45), 10369-10371.
  • Horowitz, T., Holcombe, A., Wolfe, J., Arsenio, H., DiMase, J. (2004). Attentional pursuit is faster than attentional saccade. Journal of Vision, 4(7), 585-603.
  • Kline, K., Holcombe, A., Eagleman, D. (2004). Illusory motion reversal is caused by rivalry, not by perceptual snapshots of the visual field. Vision Research, 44(23), 2653-2658.
  • Clifford, C., Holcombe, A., Pearson, J. (2004). Rapid Global Form Binding With Loss Of Associated Colors. Journal of Vision, 4(12), 1090-1101.
  • Huang, L., Holcombe, A., Pashler, H. (2004). Repetition priming in visual search: Episodic retrieval, not feature priming. Memory and Cognition, 32(1), 12-20.
  • Eagleman, D., Holcombe, A. (2003). Improving science through online commentary: The Internet offers a timely opportunity to widen, and reduce delays in, scientific debate. Nature, 423(6935), 15.
  • Holcombe, A. (2003). Occlusion cues resolve sudden onsets into morphing or line motion, disocclusion, and sudden materialization. Journal of Vision, 3(8), 562-572.
  • Eagleman, D., Holcombe, A. (2002). Causality and the perception of time. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(8), 323-325.
  • Holcombe, A. (2001). A purely temporal transparency mechanism in the visual system. Perception, 30(11), 1311-1320.
  • Holcombe, A., Cavanagh, P. (2001). Early binding of feature pairs for visual perception. Nature Neuroscience, 4(2), 127-128.
  • Holcombe, A., Kanwisher, N., Treisman, A. (2001). The midstream order deficit. Perception and Psychophysics, 63(2), 322-329.

Conferences

  • Holcombe, A., Pashler, H. (2010). Online Evidence Charts To Help Students Systematically Evaluate Theories And Evidence. 16th UniServe Science Annual Conference 2010, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Holcombe, A. (2007). Ancient history of sexual arousal and alcohol. World Congress for Sexual Health, Sydney, Australia.
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A. (2007). Non-retinotopic crowding. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Holcombe, A., Cavanagh, P. (2006). Apparent asynchrony between the perception of color and motion: An issue of different latencies or of attention? Vision Sciences Society.
  • Grayson, L., Holcombe, A., Briscoe, J. (2006). Broader Autistic Phenotype, weak central coherence and perceptual causality. European Conference for Visual Perception, St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2006). Progressively poorer perceptual precision and progressively greater perceptual lag: Tracking the changing features of one, two and four objects. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A. (2006). Successive rivalry does not occur without attention. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A. (2005). Distinguishing pre-selection from post-selection processing limits using a moving window of selection. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2005). Limits on continuous monitoring of the features of multiple objects. XXVIII Annual Meeting: European Conference on Visual Perception. Pion Ltd.
  • Holcombe, A., Over, H., Altschuler, E. (2005). Old roots of a theory of synesthesia in Rousseau's Emile and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, California.
  • Grayson, L., Briscoe, J., Holcombe, A. (2005). Perceptual reversal of ambiguous figures: How do children with ASD respond under non-directed conditions? British Psychological Society Developmental Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Kline, K., Holcombe, A., Eagleman, D. (2005). The visual system does not take global snapshots of the visual field. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Holcombe, A., MacLeod, D., Mitten, S. (2004). Positive afterimages caused by a filled-in representation. Holcombe. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Holcombe, A. (2003). Perceptual binding of letters into a word is low temporal resolution. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Clifford, C., Holcombe, A., Pearson, J. (2003). Temporal limitations on extracting global form and binding it with local colour. European Conference On Visual Perception, Paris, France.

Other

  • Holcombe, A. (2012), Spread the word: Scientists are tearing down publishers' walls.

2014

  • McIntyre, S., Seizova-Cajic, T., Birznieks, I., Holcombe, A., Vickery, R. (2014). Adaptation to Motion Presented with a Tactile Array. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). [More Information]
  • Lo, S., Holcombe, A. (2014). How do we select multiple features? Transient costs for selecting two colors rather than one, persistent costs for color-location conjunctions. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 76(2), 304-321. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Chen, W., Howe, P. (2014). Object tracking: Absence of long-range spatial interference supports resource theories. Journal of Vision, 14(6), 1-21. [More Information]

2013

  • Maruya, K., Holcombe, A., Nishida, S. (2013). Rapid encoding of relationships between spatially remote motion signals. Journal of Vision, 13(2), 1-20. [More Information]
  • Chen, W., Howe, P., Holcombe, A. (2013). Resource demands of object tracking and differential allocation of the resource. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 75(4), 710-725. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Chen, W. (2013). Splitting attention reduces temporal resolution from 7 Hz for tracking one object to (less than) 3 Hz when tracking three. Journal of Vision, 13(1), 1-19. [More Information]
  • Howe, P., Holcombe, A., Lapierre, M., Cropper, S. (2013). Visually tracking and localizing expanding and contracting objects. Perception, 42(12), 1281-1300. [More Information]

2012

  • Saiki, J., Holcombe, A. (2012). Blindness to a simultaneous change of all elements in a scene, unless there is a change in summary statistics. Journal of Vision, 12(3), 1-11. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Chen, W. (2012). Exhausting attentional tracking resources with a single fast-moving object. Cognition, 123(2), 218-228. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A., Clifford, C. (2012). Failures to bind spatially coincident features: comment on Di Lollo. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(8). [More Information]
  • Lo, S., Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2012). Feature-based attentional interference revealed in perceptual errors and lags. Vision Research, 63(2012), 20-33. [More Information]
  • Howe, P., Holcombe, A. (2012). Motion information is sometimes used as an aid to the visual tracking of objects. Journal of Vision, 12(13), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Holcombe, A. (2012), Spread the word: Scientists are tearing down publishers' walls.
  • McIntyre, S., Holcombe, A., Birznieks, I., Seizova-Cajic, T. (2012). Tactile Motion Adaptation Reduces Perceived Speed but Shows No Evidence of Direction Sensitivity. PloS One, 7(9), 1-12. [More Information]
  • Howe, P., Holcombe, A. (2012). The effect of visual distinctiveness on multiple object tracking performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 3(AUG), 1-7. [More Information]

2011

  • Holcombe, A., Linares, D., Vaziri-Pashkam, M. (2011). Perceiving spatial relationships via attentional tracking and shifting. Current Biology, 21(13), 1135-1139. [More Information]
  • Howard, C., Masom, D., Holcombe, A. (2011). Position representations lag behind targets in multiple object tracking. Vision Research, 51(17), 1907-1919. [More Information]

2010

  • Holcombe, A., Pashler, H. (2010). Online Evidence Charts To Help Students Systematically Evaluate Theories And Evidence. 16th UniServe Science Annual Conference 2010, Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2010). Unexpected changes in direction of motion attract attention. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 72(8), 2087-2095. [More Information]

2009

  • Holcombe, A., Altschuler, E., Over, H. (2009). A developmental theory of synaesthesia, with long historical roots: A comment on Hochel & Milán (2008). Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26(2), 227-229.
  • Holcombe, A. (2009). Seeing slow and seeing fast: two limits on perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(5), 216-221.
  • Holcombe, A. (2009). Temporal binding favours the early phase of colour changes, but not of motion changes, yielding the colour-motion asynchrony illusion. Visual Cognition, 17(1-2), 232-253.
  • Linares-Herreros, D., Holcombe, A., White, A. (2009). Where is the moving object now? Judgements of instantaneous position show poor temporal precision (SD = 70 ms). Journal of Vision, 9(13), 9-1-9-14.

2008

  • Holcombe, A., Seizova-Cajic, T. (2008). Illusory motion reversals from unambiguous motion with visual, proprioceptive, and tactile stimuli. Vision Research, 48, 1743-1757.
  • Holcombe, A., Cavanagh, P. (2008). Independent, synchronous access to color and motion features. Cognition, 107, 552-580. [More Information]
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A., Chou, W. (2008). Mobile computation: Spatiotemporal integration of the properties of objects in motion. Journal of Vision, 8(12), 1-23.
  • Sumner, P., Holcombe, A., Grayson, L., Briscoe, J. (2008). Multisensory processing in autism spectrum disorders. Perception, 37(6), 965-965.
  • Linares-Herreros, D., Holcombe, A. (2008). Position perception: Influence of motion with displacement dissociated from the influence of motion alone. Journal of Neurophysiology, 100, 2472-2476.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2008). Tracking the changing features of multiple objects: Progressively poorer perceptual precision and progressively greater perceptual lag. Vision Research, 48, 1164-1180.
  • White, A., Linares-Herreros, D., Holcombe, A. (2008). Visuomotor timing compensates for changes in perceptual latency. Current Biology, 18(20), R951-R953. [More Information]

2007

  • Holcombe, A. (2007). Ancient history of sexual arousal and alcohol. World Congress for Sexual Health, Sydney, Australia.
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A. (2007). Non-retinotopic crowding. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Holcombe, A., Judson, J. (2007). Visual binding of English and Chinese word parts is limited to low temporal frequencies. Perception, 36(1), 49-74.

2006

  • Holcombe, A., Cavanagh, P. (2006). Apparent asynchrony between the perception of color and motion: An issue of different latencies or of attention? Vision Sciences Society.
  • Grayson, L., Holcombe, A., Briscoe, J. (2006). Broader Autistic Phenotype, weak central coherence and perceptual causality. European Conference for Visual Perception, St. Petersburg, Russia.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2006). Progressively poorer perceptual precision and progressively greater perceptual lag: Tracking the changing features of one, two and four objects. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Holcombe, A. (2006). Provoking the desire. The Lancet, 368(9540), 990.
  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A. (2006). Successive rivalry does not occur without attention. Vision Sciences Society.

2005

  • Cavanagh, P., Holcombe, A. (2005). Distinguishing pre-selection from post-selection processing limits using a moving window of selection. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Kline, K., Holcombe, A., Eagleman, D. (2005). Illusory motion reversal does not imply discrete processing: Reply to Rojas et al. Vision Research, 46(6-7), 1158-1159.
  • Holcombe, A., Clifford, C., Eagleman, D., Pakarian, P. (2005). Illusory motion reversal in tune with motion detectors. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(12), 559-560.
  • Howard, C., Holcombe, A. (2005). Limits on continuous monitoring of the features of multiple objects. XXVIII Annual Meeting: European Conference on Visual Perception. Pion Ltd.
  • Holcombe, A., Over, H., Altschuler, E. (2005). Old roots of a theory of synesthesia in Rousseau's Emile and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, California.
  • Grayson, L., Briscoe, J., Holcombe, A. (2005). Perceptual reversal of ambiguous figures: How do children with ASD respond under non-directed conditions? British Psychological Society Developmental Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  • Kline, K., Holcombe, A., Eagleman, D. (2005). The visual system does not take global snapshots of the visual field. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Eagleman, D., Tse, P., Buonomano, D., Janssen, P., Nobre, A., Holcombe, A. (2005). Time and the Brain: How Subjective Time Relates to Neural Time. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25(45), 10369-10371.

2004

  • Horowitz, T., Holcombe, A., Wolfe, J., Arsenio, H., DiMase, J. (2004). Attentional pursuit is faster than attentional saccade. Journal of Vision, 4(7), 585-603.
  • Kline, K., Holcombe, A., Eagleman, D. (2004). Illusory motion reversal is caused by rivalry, not by perceptual snapshots of the visual field. Vision Research, 44(23), 2653-2658.
  • Holcombe, A., MacLeod, D., Mitten, S. (2004). Positive afterimages caused by a filled-in representation. Holcombe. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Clifford, C., Holcombe, A., Pearson, J. (2004). Rapid Global Form Binding With Loss Of Associated Colors. Journal of Vision, 4(12), 1090-1101.
  • Huang, L., Holcombe, A., Pashler, H. (2004). Repetition priming in visual search: Episodic retrieval, not feature priming. Memory and Cognition, 32(1), 12-20.

2003

  • Eagleman, D., Holcombe, A. (2003). Improving science through online commentary: The Internet offers a timely opportunity to widen, and reduce delays in, scientific debate. Nature, 423(6935), 15.
  • Holcombe, A. (2003). Occlusion cues resolve sudden onsets into morphing or line motion, disocclusion, and sudden materialization. Journal of Vision, 3(8), 562-572.
  • Holcombe, A. (2003). Perceptual binding of letters into a word is low temporal resolution. Vision Sciences Society.
  • Clifford, C., Holcombe, A., Pearson, J. (2003). Temporal limitations on extracting global form and binding it with local colour. European Conference On Visual Perception, Paris, France.

2002

  • Eagleman, D., Holcombe, A. (2002). Causality and the perception of time. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(8), 323-325.

2001

  • Holcombe, A. (2001). A purely temporal transparency mechanism in the visual system. Perception, 30(11), 1311-1320.
  • Holcombe, A., Cavanagh, P. (2001). Early binding of feature pairs for visual perception. Nature Neuroscience, 4(2), 127-128.
  • Holcombe, A., Kanwisher, N., Treisman, A. (2001). The midstream order deficit. Perception and Psychophysics, 63(2), 322-329.

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