Professor Aleksandra Sherman
Associate Professor, Cognitive Science
B.A., Rutgers University; Ph.D., Northwestern University
Appointed In
Swan Hall #104
Tuesdays 1:30-2:30; Thursdays 10am-12pm; and by appointment.

Research areas: psychology of art, art perception, and multisensory perception.

Prof. Sherman's interdisciplinary research program investigates how different senses interact to influence a wide range of perceptual and cognitive states, as well as the role of social and emotional factors in mediating these states. She uses mixed methods including behavioral tasks, eye-tracking, and measuring the neurophysiological substrates of perception using EEG. She also uses both qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques.

Prof. Sherman's main research focus aims to understand people's perceptual, cognitive, and emotional responses to the arts. Her publications in this area explore how individual differences in cognitive capacities such as working memory shape visual art preferences, how perspective-taking and empathy in the museum affect individual’s experiences, the role that the arts play in scientific practice, the social and epistemic value of art engagement, and how art appreciation and art-making generate meaning in our lives. She is currently working on a co-authored book titled "Why the Arts Matter". 

A second arm of Prof. Sherman's research examines multisensory perception and integration. Students in her lab investigate how auditory and visual information interact and influence eachother. Most recently, her students have examined how adding sound to a visuo-motor task could facilitate performance, and how individual diferences in multisnersory perception contribute to experiencing various multisensory illusions such as the McGurk effect and the double flash illusion. 

Prof. Sherman collaborates widely with students at Oxy and with scholars across fields including psychologists, cognitive neuroscientists, philosophers, anthropologists, and practicing artists. Her research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, and she consults on various current grants funded by the NIH and the Templeton Foundation. If you are interested in collaborating, please get in touch. 

Selected publications (bold underline indicates Oxy student co-authors)


  • COGS 101: Intro to Cognitive Science
  • COGS 201: Empirical Methods in Cognitive Science
  • COGS 265: Art, Creativity, and Cognition
  • COGS 298: Intro to Neuroimaging: EEG Methods 
  • COGS 320: Cognitive Neuroscience
  • FYS: This is Your Brain on Art
  • FYS: Nature from the Inside Out