Pascal Mamassian


Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs (CNRS UMR 8248)
Ecole Normale Supérieure
29 rue d'Ulm
75005 Paris, France

Email: pascal.mamassian (at)
Phone: +33 (0)1 44 32 27 91
Position: CNRS Director of Research, CNRS Unit Head of LSP
LSP team: vision
Office: 29 rue d'Ulm, 2nd floor, room 226


Short Biography

Pascal Mamassian was born in Lyon (France) and was trained in Telecommunication Engineering (Sup' Télécom, Paris, France). He then obtained a Masters in Cognitive Sciences (Univ. Paris 6 & EHESS, Paris, France) and a PhD in Experimental and Biological Psychology (Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA). He has worked at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Tübingen, Germany) and New York University (New York, USA). He was at the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, UK) as lecturer and then senior lecturer before taking a researcher position at the CNRS (France).

Pascal Mamassian est né à Lyon et est diplômé de Sup' Télécom Paris. Il a obtenu un DEA de sciences cognitives (univ. Paris 6 & EHESS) et un doctorat en psychologie expérimentale (univ. du Minnesota, Minneapolis, Etats-Unis). Il a travaillé à l'institut Max-Planck en cybernétique biologique (Tübingen, Allemagne) et à l'université de New York (New York, Etats-Unis). Il a été professeur assistant puis professeur associé à l'université de Glasgow (Glasgow, Royaume-Uni) avant de prendre un poste de chercheur au CNRS. Il a reçu une chaire d'excellence du ministère de la recherche en 2004 et a obtenu son habilitation à diriger des recherches en 2005.


Research Interests

How do we perceive the world around us? Research in my group focuses on mid-level vision, the link between the detection of elementary features in an image and the awareness of natural scenes. Current research topics include visual confidence (meta-perception), adaptation at different time-scales, three-dimensional perception (binocular, motion, and pictorial cues), cross-modal integration (vision-audition), temporal dynamics of perception (in particular bistable perception), and probabilistic modelling of perception (Bayesian models).



I have taught experimental psychology at the University of Glasgow and product design at the Glasgow School of Arts. I now give a few lectures in the masters of cognitive sciences from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, EHESS, Universités Paris 5 and Paris 6, and I have been co-ordinating the Psychology strand of this masters degree.




Selected publications

Otto, T. & Mamassian, P. (2012). Noise and correlations in parallel decision making. Current Biology, 22, 1391-1396.

Chopin, A. & Mamassian, P. (2012). Predictive properties of visual adaptation. Current Biology, 22, 622-626.

Simoncini, C., Perrinet, L. U., Montagnini, A., Mamassian, P. and Masson, G. S. (2012). More is not always better: adaptive gain control explains dissociation between perception and action. Nature Neuroscience, 15, 1596-1603. 

Gerardin, P., Kourtzi, Z., & Mamassian, P. (2010). Prior knowledge of illumination for 3D perception in the human brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107, 16309-16314.

Barthelmé, S., & Mamassian, P. (2010). Flexible mechanisms underlie the evaluation of visual confidence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107, 20834-20839.


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Complete List of Publications