Mintao Zhao


  • 0.01A Sciences

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


Dr Zhao is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of East Anglia.  He obtained his undergraduate degree at Henan University and his PhD at the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He then moved to the University of Hong Kong and Brown University for postdoctoral research on face processing and spatial navigation.  Before joining UEA he was a research scientist at the Max Planck Insitute for Biological Cybernetics.

His research focuses on face perception and recognition and spatial cognition and navigation. He supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate students. For more information, please visit the Person and Space Perception lab here


Key Research Interests

Dr Zhao is interested in understanding how people interact with their physical and social environment: the space people move around and the people they see. His research mainly focuses on face recognition and spatial navigation, aiming to unravel how people perceive and represent faces and spaces in memory, and how people use these representations to recognize faces and navigate spaces.  He takes multiple research approaches to address these questions, including psychophysics, virtual reality, eye-movement tracking, computational modelling, and functional MRI.

If you are interested in a research internship or would like to discuss potential Master's or PhD projects, please get in touch.


Areas of Expertise

Dr Zhao employs multidisciplinary methods to understand the cognitive, neural, and computational mechanisms of person and space perception in the mind, brain, and machines. 

He has been a post hoc reviewer for more than twenty psychology and cognitive neuroscience journals and funding bodies (ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, NSF, Irish Research Council, and Israel Science Foundation). He is currently a member of the Outer International Assessment Board (OAB) for the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme.


Teaching Interests

Dr Zhao contributes to the teaching of the following modules:

PSY-4008Y: Introduction to Psychology 

PSY-5017B: Cognitive and Biological Psychology

PSY-6009A: Brain and Cognition

PSY-6018A: Magic Visual World

PSY-6031B: Environmental Psychology 

PSY-7010A: Cognitive Neuroscience 

PSY-7015A: PSY Lab Skills


Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or