Alexander Bies, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

I’m a cognitive neuroscientist with a penchant for straying into other fields and engaging in interdisciplinary projects. In my laboratory we are currently testing theories about the factors that contribute to the evaluation of beauty in faces, objects,...

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Psychology (cognitive neuroscience), University of Oregon

M.S., Psychology (cognitive neuroscience), University of Oregon

B.S. with Honors, Psychology, Philosophy and Neuroscience, University of Evansville

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

PSYC 202 – Statistics for Psychology

PSYC 206 – Scientific Principles in Psychology

PSYC 300 – Biological Psychology


I’m a cognitive neuroscientist with a penchant for straying into other fields and engaging in interdisciplinary projects.

In my laboratory we are currently testing theories about the factors that contribute to the evaluation of beauty in faces, objects, and environments. Other projects with which I am involved address what contributes to realistic drawing ability, pareidolia (seeing patterns in random noise – a fiction illusion), and spatial cognition. To answer these questions, my students and I use techniques from computer science, physics, neuroscience and psychology.

Through my teaching I introduce students to the exciting world of research by discussing articles related to the particular course topic and entering into discussions about alternate hypotheses and future experiments.

When I’m not teaching or doing research, I spend time with family/friends, cooking, and getting outdoors – preferably all at once.

See my Google Scholar profile.

Select publications:

Taylor, R. P., Juliani, A. W., Croy, A., Bies, A. J., Spehar, B., & Sereno, M. E. (2017). The implications of fractal fluency for biophilic architecture. Journal of Biourbanism, 6(1&2), 23-40. https://journalofbiourbanism.org/2018/03/20/jbu-volume-vi-12-2017

Bies, A. J. (2016). Cockroaches now evading death by getting bitter about sweeteners. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 15(1), R17-R18.

Bies, A. J., Boydston, C. R., Taylor, R. P., & Sereno, M. E. (2016). Relationship between fractal dimension and spectral scaling decay rate in computer-generated fractals. Symmetry, 8(7), 66. doi:10.3390/sym8070066

Juliani, A. W., Bies, A. J., Boydston, C. R., Taylor, R. P., & Sereno, M. E. (2016). Navigation performance in virtual environments varies with the fractal dimension of the landscape. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 47, 155-165. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.05.011

Bies, A. J., Blanc-Goldhammer, D., Boydston, C. R., Taylor, R. P., & Sereno, M. E. (2016). Aesthetic responses to exact fractals driven by physical complexity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 210. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00210

Select poster presentations:

Bies, A. J., Tate, W., Taylor, R. P., & Sereno, M. E. A factor analytic approach reveals variability and consistency in perceived complexity ratings of landscape photographs. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2018. Online.

Edwards, K., Bies, A. J., Kikumoto, A., Lazarides, S., & Sereno, M. E. Shape constancy in anaglyphs: Effects of drawing training. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2018. Online.

Tate, W., Taylor, R. P., Sereno, M. E. & Bies, A. J. Perceived complexity and aesthetic responses to landscape photographs. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2018. Online.

Bies, A. J., Kikumoto, A., Lazarides, S., & Sereno, M. E. Shape constancy in anaglyphs: Effects of angle, context and instruction. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2017. Online.

Bies, A. J., & Sereno, M. E. Understanding the relationship between specific spatial abilities and map reading skills using fMRI. 2016 Neuroscience Meeting Planner. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2016. Online.

Select talks:

Examining the relationship between perceived complexity and beauty in natural scenes. Transdisciplinary Workshop: Science, Art and Cognition. Centro Internacional de Ciencias A. C., Cuernavaca, Mexico, December 12, 2017.

Visual aesthetics of fractals. University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN, May 2, 2016.

A fresh perspective on drawing with perspective: why some individuals' drawings are more accurate than others. Crick Lectures in Cognitive and Neural Science. University of Evansville, Evansville, IN, April 24, 2015.

Interests:

  • Experimental aesthetics
  • Fractals
  • Image statistics
  • Spatial cognition
  • Visual perception