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Address: 4 Armyansky Pereulok, Building 2, room 419
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ORCID: 0000-0001-8433-446X
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M. Chumakova
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Igor S. Utochkin

  • Igor S. Utochkin has been at HSE University since 2005.

Education and Degrees

  • 2021

    Doctor of Sciences*

  • 2006

    Candidate of Sciences* (PhD) in General Psychology, Psychology of Personality, History of Psychology

  • 2003

    Degree in Psychology
    Lomonosov Moscow State University

* Candidate of Sciences
According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, Candidate of Sciences belongs to ISCED level 8 - "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar. Candidate of Sciences allows its holders to reach the level of the Associate Professor.
* Doctor of Sciences
A post-doctoral degree called Doctor of Sciences is given to reflect second advanced research qualifications or higher doctorates in ISCED 2011.

Continuing education / Professional retraining / Internships / Study abroad experience

2016, October-December - visiting scholar in Vision and Memory Laboratory, University of California San Diego (La Jolla, CA, USA)

2015, October-December - visiting scholar in Visual Attention Laboratory, Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital (Cambridge/Boston, MA, USA)

Awards and Accomplishments

Best Teacher – 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013

Young Faculty Support Program (Group of Young Academic Professionals)
Category "Future Professoriate" (2015-2016)

Courses (2021/2022)

Courses (2020/2021)

Courses (2019/2020)

Courses (2018/2019)

Courses (2017/2018)

Editorial board membership

2014: Member of the Editorial Board, Российский журнал когнитивной науки (The Russian Journal of Cognitive Science).


  • 2014

    Vision Sciences Society 14th Annual Meeting (St. Pete Beach). Presentation: Seeing variety: The determinants of visual representation of variance statistics

  • Vision Sciences Society 14th Annual Meeting (St. Pete Beach). Presentation: Distractor heterogeneity effects in visual search are mediated by "segmentability"

  • Vision Sciences Society 14th Annual Meeting (St. Pete Beach). Presentation: The perception of variety in color segmented sets

  • Vision Sciences Society 14th Annual Meeting (St. Pete Beach). Presentation: Visual size averaging is parallel but depends on the range

  • 2013

    Vision Sciences Society, 13th Annual Meeting (Naples). Presentation: Conjunction-guided selection in visual search

Dissertation for a degree of Doctor of Science









Article Utochkin I. S. Ensemble summary statistics as a basis for rapid visual categorization // Journal of Vision. 2015. Vol. 15. No. 8. P. 1-14. doi




Scientific interests

I am interested in visual perception and attention. My current work is focused on several main topics:
Ensemble perception. Despite our attention and visual working memory (VWM) have severely limited capacity - 3-4 objects at a time, at any given moment we still see much more than these 3-4 objects. Numerous studies of past decades show that this is possible because ensemble representation, the special mode of perception that allows us to see large sets of objects in the absence of the information about individuals. The visual system is believed to construct rather generalized images of ensembles via computing summary statistics, such as aprroximate number or average size, orientation, speed, brightness, even facial expression, etc. My research concerns two main issues: 1) The role of summary statistics in perceptual grouping, segmentation, and categorization: How can visual summary statistics be used by the visual system to decide which members of an ensemble belong to the same type of objects, and which members belong to different types; 2) What is the role of attention in extracting summary statistics?
Attention and visual search. Visual search is a very useful task for studying the deployment of attention over space and time. In visual search we can easily and independently manipulate numerous stimulus factors (the number of objects, their features, their similarity and dissimilarity, their density, etc.), as well as high-level sets via instructions and rewards. My specific interest in visual search focuses on the following question: How the statistical distribution of similar and dissimilar objects (as derived from statistical processing of a visual ensemble) affects the settings of the "attentional window", a hypothetical tradeoff between the number of immediately attended objects and the amount of capacity given to each of those objects?
Dead zone of attention. When perceiving a natural scene, one is normally attending to most significant objects or their parts. These are termed the "centers of interest" (CI), while other details of the scene are termed "marginal interests" (MI). My recent finding from the change blindness pardigm is that observers attend to MI's differently depending on the location of those MI's. Specifically, in my change blindness experiments participants failed to notice marginal changes for longer time in close proximity to a CI as compared to remote MI's. This effect was termed the dead zone of attention. The current research in my lab is indended to understand the nature of this effect. Is it elicited by some low-level spatial inhibition? Or is it caused by a high-level strategy of scene inspection?


General Psychology: Sensation and Perception (2nd year)
Experimental Psychology (3rd year)
Psychology of Errors and Illusions (elective, 2nd year)

Ad-hoc reviewing

Attention, Perception and Psychphysics

Journal of Optical Society of America A

Journal of Vision


The Russian Journal of Cognitive Science

Psychology. Journal of HSE

Timetable for today

Full timetable

“Applied Cognitive Science” Summer School. How was it?

This year the 3d “Applied Cognitive Science” Summer School was held by our Lab. Unfortunately, we were forced to meet via online because of pandemic situation. Nonetheless, these conditions did not affect on shool program: it was intense and engaging.

‘All of the Most Interesting Research Today Happens at the Borders between Different Disciplines’

The Russian Ministry of Education and Science has approved a new nomenclature of specializations in which academic degrees are conferred in Russia. The new list includes 21 new fields, including cognitive science. Maria Falikman, Head of the HSE School of Psychology, discusses the history of cognitive science, its formation at HSE, and its prospects for development.

‘It Is Very Inspiring When Someone From Outside Approves of What I Am Doing’

Vladislav Khvostov, a second-year student of the Doctoral School of Psychology at HSE University, was recognized with a Graduate Conference Award for Student Members from the Psychonomic Society. Every year a total of 20 graduate students in cognitive psychology receive this prestigious international award in psychology. HSE News Service spoke with Vladislav about the award, his interest in cognitive psychology and research.

HSE Science Battles Wrap Up Third Season

What professions in Russia are considered ‘dirty’? Do computers have empathy? What happens when the brain incorrectly predicts how we feel? The answers to these and other questions were tackled at the final round of the HSE Science Battles, which was held online for the first time this year. Read on to find out which performance was rated highest by the audience and jury and why the Science Battles are a must-see for everyone.

Working Memory Is Structured Hierarchically: The Colours and Orientations of Objects Are Processed Independently

Researchers in cognitive psychology at HSE University have experimentally demonstrated that the colours and orientations of objects are stored and processed independently in working memory. However, it is easier for a person to remember these features when they belong to a single object: for example, it is easier for a person to remember and understand one graph on which both parameters are indicated (with a colour and a line shape, for example), than two different graphs in which the two parameters are shown separately. The results of the experiment were published in Acta Psychologica journal.

Scientists From HSE Awarded New Grants from RSF

The Russian Science Foundation has announced the most recent winners of three-year grants for scientific research. Among the recipients are a number of projects carried out by scientists at the Higher School of Economics.

Behavioural Genetics Research as a Path to Optimise Learning for All

On October 5th, 2015 Yulia Kovas will give an open lecture at the HSE Centre for Cognition & Decision Making — 'An Introduction to Behavioral Genetics'. Professor of Genetics and Psychology at Goldsmiths College, London University and Co-director of the Russian British Laboratory of Psychogenetics and author of many academic articles, Yulia Kovas will talk about the problems facing contemporary behavioral genetics, how DNA influences the individual variations of a person’s psychological features, what role the interaction between genes and the environment plays in the formation of behaviour and other questions of contemporary behavioral genetics.