Eileen Kowler received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1978, and joined the Psychology faculty at Rutgers in 1980 after postdoctoral work at New York University. She is also a member of the graduate faculty of Biomedical Engineering and is on the Executive Committee of the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science. She edited the reference work Eye Movements and Their Role in Visual and Cognitive Processes (published by Elsevier), and served as Section Editor for Behavioral Physiology and Visuomotor Control of the journal Vision Research from 1995 to 2004. She has been on the editorial boards of the Journal of Vision and Cognitive Brain Research. Her laboratory has been supported by grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and NIH.
Eye movements are an integral part of our interactions with the visual world. Tasks, such as reading, searching for objects, inspecting the contents of a visual scene, or navigating through the environment, require that we bring the eye quickly and accurately to important and useful locations. Remarkably, eye movements accomplish this goal with virtually no overt effort or awareness. The research in my lab focuses on activities like these, and is devoted to understanding how eye movements are planned, how they are carried out, and how we maintain the percept of a clear, stable and coherent world despite the continual changes in the visual array that eye movements produce. One major effort is understanding the relationship between eye movements and attention, including the question of how attention is involved in eye movement control, and how well we can attend to the visual environment independently of movements of the eye. On the whole, the work emphasizes the active integration of eye movements with ongoing visual and cognitive processes, such as attention, perception and memory.