Wendy Baccus

Wendy Baccus

Wendy Baccus

Biological Motion, Visual Perception, Spatial Navigation, Social Perception

Wendy Baccus is a doctoral student in the Human Factors and Applied Cognition Program working with Dr. James Thompson. She received her B.A. in psychology from George Mason University in 2008 and her MA in Psychology in 2013. Her research interests involve investigating the way in which people perceive and understand human movement or “biological motion” on a neural level using various psychophysiological techniques including fMRI, EEG, and TMS.  Currently she has a particular interest in studying how groups of individuals synchronize their movements with one another which changes depending on cue modality, leader/follower roles, and the number of other individuals available to synchronize with. Another facet of human motion that Wendy has researched in the past includes how people understand and perceive different actions, and how form and motion cues contribute to perception of the human body. She also spent several years researching different strategies people employ when navigating in novel environments in real-world and virtual reality scenarios.

Wendy presently splits her time between working on her dissertation and conducting UX research at WeddingWire, Inc. She expects to graduate in the Spring or Summer of 2017.

Selected Publications

Thompson, J C., Baccus, W (2011). Form and motion make independent contributions to the response to biological motion in occipitotemporal cortex. Neuroimage, 59(1), 625-634.

Baccus, W L., Mozgova, O, & Thompson, J (2009). Early integration of form and motion in the neural response to biological motion. Neuroreport, 20(15), 1334-1338.

Grants and Fellowships

APA-USNC travel Award ($1500) to attend ICP in Cape Town, South Africa - Summer 2012

Courses Taught

Psyc 304 (lab) - Principles of Learning


BA., George Mason University, 2008
MA., George Mason University, 2013

Recent Presentations

Baccus, W, Bevitt, J, Dziura, SL, Parasuraman, R, and Thompson, JC (2014).  Effect of spatial or sequential auditory secondary task on spatial navigation.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of Vision Science Society, Naples, FL.

Dziura, S.L., Baccus, W.L., Thompson, J.C. (2013, May). Combining detection and discrimination of biological motion at low contrast. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Vision Science Society, Naples, FL.

Thompson, JC, Dziura, S, Baccus, W, and Safford, A (2012).  Increased eccentricity reduces the contribution of form to the perception of biological motion.  Poster session at the annual meeting of the European Conference on Visual Perception, Alghero, Italy.

Dziura, S, Baccus, WL, and Thompson, JC (2012).  The effect of stimulus contrast on action discrimination.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of Vision Science Society, Naples, FL.

Baccus, W L., & Thompson, J C. (2010, May).  Contribution of body shape and motion to biological motion selectivity depends on stimulus position.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping, Barcelona, Spain.