Albert Yonas, PhD

Professor, Institute of Child Development

Albert Yonas

Contact Info

Office Address:
Institute of Child Development
160 Child Development
51 E River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Professor, Institute of Child Development

Center for Neurobehavioral Development

Doctoral Degree, Cornell University, 1968


Yonas, his students, and collaborators are creating methods for treating children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Prosopagnosia, “face blindness,” by using computer games.

Yonas is also working with Pawan Sinha at MIT to study the development of visual perception in children who are born blind (due to dark cataracts) but not been able to receive any treatment to cure their condition. This is very different from what happens to similar American infants, who have surgery within their first months of life. The Indian children are from very poor rural villages. Professor Sinha’s project makes it possible for them to travel with their parents to a modern hospital in a large city to have cataract surgery. Over his career, Yonas' research has explored the development of 3-D perception by isolating different cues for spatial layout to discover when infants begin to use such to reach for the closer of two objects. With the older Indian children, we will be able to ask them to tell us what they see, which clearly provides much more useful data than simple reaches.

Furthermore, in a new study Yonas and his students will test the notion that as young infants come to see 3-D shapes (bulges) from shading, they lose the ability to detect small differences in the images. 


Research Summary/Interests

Perceptual development, layout perception in infants, the treatment of prosopagnosia (face blindness) and ASD in children.


  • Batterson, V. G., Rose, S. A., Yonas, A., Grant, K. S., Sackett, G. P. (2008). The effect of experience on the development of tactual-visual transfer in pigtailed macaque monkeys. Developmental Psychobiology, 50, 88-96.
  • Yonas, A. (2008) A personal view of James Gibson’s approach to perception. Cognitive Critique, 1, 31-41.
  • Kavšek, M., Granrud, C.E. & Yonas, A. (2009). Infants’ responsiveness to pictorial depth cues in preferential-reaching studies: A meta-analysis. Infant Behavior and Development, 32, 245-253.
  • Tsuruhara, A., Sawada, T., Kanazawa, S., Yamaguchi, M.K., & Yonas, A. (2009). Infant’s ability to form a common representation of an object’s shape from different pictorial depth cues: A transfer-across-cues study. Infant Behavior and Development, 32, 468–475
  • Hemker, L., Granrud, C.E., Yonas, A., & Kavsek, M. (2010). Infant perception of surface texture and relative height as distance information: A preferential-reaching study. Infancy, 15, 6-27.
  • Yonas, A., Corrow, S., Chatterjee, G., & Nakayama, K. (2010) Psychophysics of face processing in childhood: A developmental perspective. Journal of Vision, 10(7): 577; doi:10.1167/10.7.577.
  • Willemsen, P., Olsen, M., Erickson, S., & Yonas, A. (2010) Improving Driver Ability to Avoid Collisions when Following a Snowplow. Journal of Vision, 10(7): 812; doi:10.1167/10.7.812.
  • Nawrot, E., Nawrot, M., & Yonas, A. (2010) Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements and Depth from Motion Parallax in Infancy. Journal of Vision, 10(7): 471; doi:10.1167/10.7.471.
  • Corrow, S., Yonas, A. & Granrud, C. (2010) The Convexity Assumption: Infants use Knowledge of Objects to Interpret Static Monocular Information by 5 Months. Journal of Vision, 10(7): 497; doi:10.1167/10.7.497.
  • Tsuruhara, A., Sawada, T., Kanazawa, S., Yamaguchi, M.K., Corrow, S., and Yonas, A. (2010) The development of the ability of infants to utilize static cues to create and access representations of object shape. Journal of Vision, 10, 1-11.