Associate Professor Tamara Watson

Associate Professor Tamara Watson

Director of Academic Program - Criminology and Policing,
Criminology & Policing

Associate Professor in Cyber Security and Behaviour,
Criminology & Policing


My research aims to help us use new technologies to optimise how we take in visual information. My core interest is how and why an unchanging stimulus can look different to us depending on the context within which it is presented. This has many real world consequences, like an inability to see important information because we are disracted or even because we are not expecting it. I use both human psychophysical and neuroimaging techniques and increasingly carry out experiments in fully immersive virtual worlds. I completed my PhD at the University of Sydney, School of Psychology and subsequently moved to Rutgers University, Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (New Jersey, USA) to complete a Human Frontiers Science Program Post Doctoral Fellowship. In 2009 I returned to the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney before joining Western Sydney as a research lecturer in May 2010.  In 2022 I joined the Cyber Security and Behaviour team here at Western and focus on the human side of technology use.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Watson.


  • PhD University of Sydney

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Criminology & Policing
  • Criminology & Policing


Phone: (02) 9772 6006
Location: EI.G.07

PLEASE NOTE: obtaining information from this Directory must be for the legitimate purposes of doing business with and within Western Sydney University, and must not be used for unsolicited bulk e-mailing (spamming) or similar purposes.


Journal Articles

  • Kirchner, J., Watson, T., Bauer, J. and Lappe, M. (2023), 'Eyeball translations affect saccadic eye movements beyond brainstem control', Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 130, no 5 , pp 1334 - 1343.
  • Mahajan, Y., Ching, A., Ching, A., Watson, T., Kim, J. and Davis, C. (2022), 'Effect of sustained selective attention on steady-state visual evoked potentials', Experimental Brain Research, vol 240, no 1 , pp 249 - 261.
  • Kirchner, J., Watson, T. and Lappe, M. (2022), 'Real-time MRI reveals unique insight into the full kinematics of eye movements', eNeuro, vol 9, no 1 .
  • Kirchner, J., Watson, T., Busch, N. and Lappe, M. (2022), 'Timing and kinematics of horizontal within-blink saccades measured by EOG', Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 127, no 6 , pp 1655 - 1668.
  • Garcia Garcia, M., Rifai, K., Wahl, S. and Watson, T. (2021), 'Adaptation to geometrically skewed moving images : an asymmetrical effect on the double-drift illusion', Vision Research, vol 179 , pp 75 - 84.
  • Stein, N., Niehorster, D., Watson, T., Steinicke, F., Rifai, K., Wahl, S. and Lappe, M. (2021), 'A comparison of eye tracking latencies among several commercial head-mounted displays', i-Perception, vol 12, no 1 .
  • Lencer, R., Meyhofer, I., Triebsch, J., Rolfes, K., Lappe, M. and Watson, T. (2021), 'Saccadic suppression in schizophrenia', Scientific Reports, vol 11, no 1 .
  • Caruana, N., Stein, T., Watson, T., Williams, N. and Seymour, K. (2019), 'Intact prioritisation of unconscious face processing in schizophrenia', Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, vol 24, no 2 , pp 135 - 151.
  • Schweitzer, R., Watson, T., Watson, J. and Rolfs, M. (2019), 'The joy of retinal painting : a build-it-yourself device for intrasaccadic presentations', Perception, vol 48, no 10 , pp 1020 - 1025.
  • Watson, T. and Lappe, M. (2019), 'Fixation related shifts of perceptual localization counter to saccade direction', Journal of Vision, vol 19, no 13 .
  • Balsdon, T., Schweitzer, R., Watson, T. and Rolfs, M. (2018), 'All is not lost : post-saccadic contributions to the perceptual omission of intra-saccadic streaks', Consciousness and Cognition, vol 64 , pp 19 - 31.
  • Mifsud, N., Beesley, T., Watson, T., Elijah, R., Sharp, T. and Whitford, T. (2018), 'Attenuation of visual evoked responses to hand and saccade-initiated flashes', Cognition, vol 179 , pp 14 - 22.
  • Clifford, C., Watson, T. and White, D. (2018), 'Two sources of bias explain errors in facial age estimation', Royal Society Open Science, vol 5, no 10 .
  • Watson, T., Otsuka, Y. and Clifford, C. (2016), 'Who are you expecting? : biases in face perception reveal prior expectations for sex and age', Journal of Vision, vol 16, no 3 .
  • Mifsud, N., Beesley, T., Watson, T. and Whitford, T. (2016), 'Attenuation of auditory evoked potentials for hand and eye-initiated sounds', Biological Psychology, vol 120 , pp 61 - 68.
  • Chen, N., Clarke, P., Watson, T., MacLeod, C. and Guastella, A. (2015), 'Attentional bias modification facilitates attentional control mechanisms : evidence from eye tracking', Biological Psychology, vol 104 , pp 139 - 146.
  • Haladjian, H., Wufong, E. and Watson, T. (2015), 'Spatial compression : dissociable effects at the time of saccades and blinks', Journal of Vision, vol 15, no 9 .
  • Clifford, C., Mareschal, I., Otsuka, Y. and Watson, T. (2015), 'A Bayesian approach to person perception', Consciousness and Cognition, vol 36 , pp 406 - 413.
  • Watson, T. and Robbins, R. (2014), 'The nature of holistic processing in face and object recognition : current opinions', Frontiers in Psychology, vol 5, no 3 , pp 1 - 2.
  • Chen, N., Clarke, P., Watson, T., MacLeod, C. and Guastella, A. (2014), 'Biased saccadic responses to emotional stimuli in anxiety : an antisaccade study', PLoS One, vol 9, no 2 .
  • Maloney, R., Watson, T. and Clifford, C. (2014), 'Determinants of motion response anisotropies in human early visual cortex : the role of configuration and eccentricity', NeuroImage, vol 100, no Suppl. C , pp 564 - 579.
  • Watson, T., Robbins, R. and Best, C. (2014), 'Infant perceptual development for faces and spoken words : an integrated approach', Developmental Psychobiology, vol 56, no 7 , pp 1454 - 1481.
  • Watson, T. (2013), 'Implications of holistic face processing in autism and schizophrenia', Frontiers in Psychology, vol 4 , pp 1 - 11.
  • Maloney, R., Watson, T. and Clifford, C. (2013), 'Human cortical and behavioral sensitivity to patterns of complex motion at eccentricity', Journal of Neurophysiology, vol 110, no 11 , pp 2545 - 2556.
  • Kaur, M., Lagopoulos, J., Ward, P., Watson, T., Naismith, S., Hickie, I. and Hermens, D. (2012), 'Mismatch negativity/P3a complex in young people with psychiatric disorders : a cluster analysis', PLoS One, vol 7, no 12 .
  • Watson, T. and Krekelberg, B. (2011), 'An Equivalent Noise Investigation of Saccadic Suppression', Journal of Neuroscience, vol 31, no 17 , pp 6535 - 6541.
  • Van Der Linde, I. and Watson, T. (2010), 'A combinatorial study of pose effects in unfamiliar face recognition', Vision Research, vol 50, no 5 , pp 522 - 533.
  • Rhodes, G., Watson, T., Jeffery, L. and Clifford, C. (2010), 'Perceptual adaptation helps us identify faces', Vision Research, vol 53 , pp 963 - 968.
  • Watson, T. and Krekelberg, B. (2009), 'The relationship between saccadic suppression and perceptual stability', Current Biology, vol 19, no 12 , pp 1040 - 1043.
  • Watson, T. and Clifford, C. (2006), 'Orientation-dependence of the orientation contingent face aftereffect', Vision Research, vol 46 , pp 3422 - 3429.
  • Watson, T., Hill, H., Johnston, A. and Troje, N. (2005), 'Motion as a cue for viewpoint invariance.', Visual Cognition, vol 12 , pp 1291 - 1308.

Psychology- visual perception,cognition, eye movements and perception, face recognition.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Watson.

Previous Projects

Title: Who Are You Expecting? Uncertainty and Bias in High-Level Vision [via UNSW]
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Tamara Watson
Years: 2015-01-30 - 2019-01-29
ID: P00022483
Title: PLATYPUS - PLAsticiTY of Perceptual space Under Sensorimotor interactions [via Munster University, Germany]
  • European Commission
Western Researchers: Tamara Watson and Gabrielle Weidemann
Years: 2017-07-01 - 2023-04-30
ID: P00023401
Title: Flower Power: Natural Form, Aesthetics and the Human Brain
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Tamara Watson
Years: 2017-06-30 - 2023-06-30
ID: P00023270
Title: Frontiers Technology Clinical Academic Group: disruptive innovation in healthcare
  • Maridulu Budyari Gumal
Western Researchers: Kate Stevens, Paul Breen, Gaetano Gargiulo, Sandra Garrido, Gough Lui, Don Wright, Gabrielle Weidemann and Tamara Watson
Years: 2019-01-01 - 2023-03-31
ID: P00025405
Title: Identifying the basis for perceptual stability and perceptual omission during saccadic eye movements
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Tamara Watson
Years: 2011-01-01 - 2014-06-30
ID: P00018169
Title: Steady vision: The role of discontinuity and disruption
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Tamara Watson
Years: 2016-01-01 - 2017-12-31
ID: P00023139
Title: Auditory facilitation of visual search; a steay state visual evoked potential investigation of neural mechanisms.
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Tamara Watson and John Cass
Years: 2011-11-09 - 2012-11-08
ID: P00020509


Associate Professor Watson is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Cognitive Load in Second Language Comprehension
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Effects of cognitive load and stress in virtual and Augmented Reality
Field of Research:

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k