Dr. Alexander J. Bies

Assistant Professor

Dr. Alexander J. Bies
(615) 898-2101
(615) 898-5027
Room 209, Jones Hall (JH)
Office Hours

Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30 a - 10:30a

Thursdasy 1 p - 2p

Degree Information

  • Ph.D., University of Oregon (2017)
  • M.S., University of Oregon (2012)
  • B.S., University of Evansville (2008)

Areas of Expertise

My research centers on the visual perception of complex scenes.

Within psychology, I have expertise in complexity, neuroaesthetics, scene perception, and structural equation modeling.

Outside of psychology, I also have expertise in the analysis of the physical properties of images. I have published on techniques including fractal analysis and spectral decay to describe textures, objects, and scene categories.

Biography

As an undergraduate at the University of Evansville I joined a behavioral neuroscience laboratory aimed at understanding the relationship between diet and behavior. That experience led me to attend the University of Oregon for my doctorate, where I taught courses such as Perception and developed a seminar Neuropsychology and Art. Through collaboration I became fascinated with fractals, which provide a framework for describing the complexity of natural landscapes and objects. That led to my di...

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As an undergraduate at the University of Evansville I joined a behavioral neuroscience laboratory aimed at understanding the relationship between diet and behavior. That experience led me to attend the University of Oregon for my doctorate, where I taught courses such as Perception and developed a seminar Neuropsychology and Art. Through collaboration I became fascinated with fractals, which provide a framework for describing the complexity of natural landscapes and objects. That led to my dissertation research on how we form aesthetic evaluations of landscape photographs and other images, which I completed as a dissertation fellow at the University of Oregon and equipment purchased with an American Psychological Association (APA) dissertation research grant. Interested undergraduate or masters students should contact me for the opportunity to engage in research on scene perception and aesthetics at Middle Tennessee State University.

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Publications

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.

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.

Juliani, A. W., Bies, A. J., Boydston, C. R...

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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.

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.

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.

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

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Presentations

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., Kikumoto, A., Boydston, C., Greenfield, A. L., Chauvin, K. A., Taylor, R. P., & Sereno, M. E. Percepts from noise patterns: The role of fractal dimension in object pareidolia. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2016. Online.

Invited talks:

2016...

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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., Kikumoto, A., Boydston, C., Greenfield, A. L., Chauvin, K. A., Taylor, R. P., & Sereno, M. E. Percepts from noise patterns: The role of fractal dimension in object pareidolia. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2016. Online.

Invited talks:

2016. Visual aesthetics of fractals. University of Southern Indiana.

2015. A fresh perspective on drawing with perspective. Crick Lectures in Cognitive and Neural Science. University of Evansville.

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Awards

2016 American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award 

2016 – 2017 University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship

2009 NIH Travel Award

Research/Scholarly Activity

My laboratory is currently focused on neuroaesthetics. The prongs of our research pursuit include measuring the physical properties of photographs and art, using those images as stimuli in psychophysical, eye-tracking, and physiological studies, and combining these data to test cognitive models of the aesthetic response with advanced statistical techniques.

Courses

Currently assigned courses: Research Methods, Sensation & Perception, Statistics

My teaching interests include topics related to Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychology and Art, Research Methods, Sensation and Perception, and Statistics.