Welcome to the NOVA Lab at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The lab is directed by Dr. Ipek Oruc and is part of the Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Group within the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. We are located on the 4th floor of the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre, home of ICORD, at Vancouver General Hospital.

We study visual recognition of high level forms such as faces, letters and objects. Our purpose is to advance the understanding of the brain mechanisms and processes responsible for visual recognition. We investigate the nature of neural computations that support normal high-level visual function as well as the disruptions to these that result in visual impairments. We use a wide variety of methodologies from behavioral and psychophysical experimentation, to computational modeling, and neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG). Potential applications of this line of research include methods to improve performance in everyday tasks, such as face recognition, and rehabilitation paradigms to restore normal function in cases of impaired recognition due to brain disorders such as prosopagnosia (face blindness), or developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder.

Latest news and publications

Visual Cognition

Mousavi, M., Oruc, I. (2020). Tuning of face expertise with a racially heterogeneous face-diet. Visual Cognition, DOI: 10.1080/13506285.2020.1836696

Congratulations to Todd!

Todd Kamensek has passed his doctoral comprehensive exam with flying colours and has moved on to PhD candidacy at UBC Neuroscience!


Mousavi, M., Oruc, I. (2020). Size Effects in the Recognition of Blurry Faces. Perception, 49 (2), 222-231.

Congratulations to Aaron!

Aaron Berk receives the 2019 Margaret L. Adamson award from UBC Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Vision Research

Oruc, I., Shafai, F., Lages P., Ton, T., Murthy, S. (2019). The adult face-diet: A naturalistic observation study. Vision Research, 157: 222-229.