Mintao Zhao


  • 0.01A Sciences

Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile


I am a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of East Anglia.  I completed my 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 I had been a research scientist at the Max Planck Insitute for Biological Cybernetics.

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


Key Research Interests

We are interested in understanding how we interact with their surrounding physical and social environment: the space we move around and the people we see. Our research mainly focuses on face recognition and spatial navigation, aiming to unravel how we perceive and represent faces and spaces in memory, and how we use these representations to recognize faces and to navigate in places.  We take 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 do not hesitate to contact us.


Areas of Expertise

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

I have been a post hoc reviewer for many psychology and cognitive neuroscience journals and funding bodies (ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust, NSF, Irish Research Council). I am also a member of the Outer International Assessment Board (OAB) for the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Programme and Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme.


Teaching Interests

I contribute 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