Yu Luo

PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science
The University of British Columbia

About me

CV    Resume    Portfolio

I'm a PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science with Dr.Jiaying Zhao at the University of British Columbia. I expect to finish my PhD in 2022.

Main Research Lines:

  1. How can we apply behavior insights to address environmental issues (e.g., plastic pollution, climate change)?
  2. How does our cognitive system interact with the highly structured environment?
  3. How do people perceive and understand numerical information?


Statistical Learning

One major line of my research has been focused on the cognitive consequences of statistical learning. As the environment is highly structured, containing regularities in terms of how objects co-occur in space and time, statistical learning is an automatic process that allows the extraction of regularities, and thus produces implicit knowledge about the associations between individual objects.

My projects examined how statistical learning guides the spatial scale of attention, generates novel inferences based on transitive relations and across the categorical hierarchy, and creates false memories.

Environmental Behavior/Cognition

Sustainability depends on both an intention to act and the accurate implementation of actions. Focusing on waste disposal, I developed a sorting game to identify and correct the most prominent biases in recycling and composting behaviors. The sorting game was also launched in residences to improve students’ sorting behaviors.

People’s perceptions of their physical environment are related to their environmental actions and subjective wellbeing. To further investigate this topic, I developed an assessment tool for a private company to examine its clients' subjective wellbeing at work.


Journal Articles

Luo, Y., Andrew L., Soman, D., & Zhao, J. (under review). A meta-analytic cognitive framework of nudge and sludge. PsyArXiv.

Luo, Y., Douglas, J., Pahl, S., & Zhao, J. (2022). Reducing plastic waste by visualizing marine consequences. Environment and Behavior, 54, 809-832.

Zhao, J. & Luo, Y. (2021). A framework to address cognitive biases of climate change. Neuron, 109, 3548-3551.

Luo, Y. & Zhao, J. (2021). Attentional and perceptual biases of climate change. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 42, 22-26.

Luo, Y. & Zhao, J. (2019). Motivated attention in climate change perception and action. Frontiers in Psychology, 10:1541.

Yu, R., Luo, Y., Osherson, D., & Zhao, J. (2019). Perception of multi-dimensional regularities is driven by salience. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 81, 1564-1578.

Luo, Y., Zelenika, I., & Zhao, J. (2019). Providing immediate feedback improves recycling and composting accuracy. Journal of Environmental Management, 232, 445-454

Luo, Y. & Zhao, J. (2018). Statistical learning creates novel object associations via transitive relations. Psychological Science, 29, 1207-1220.

Zhao, J. & Luo, Y. (2017). Statistical regularities guide the spatial scale of attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 79, 24-30.

Conference Proceedings

Luo, Y. & Zhao, J. (2017). Learning induced illusions: Statistical learning creates false memories. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. J. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society(pp. 774-779). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Luo, Y. & Zhao, J. (2016). Statistical learning creates novel object associations via transitive relations. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J.C. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society(pp. 984-989). Austin, TX: Cognitive ScienceSociety.


Statistical learning enables implicit subadditive predictions

Vision Science Society 2019

Motivated attention in climate change perception and action

Vision Science Society 2018

Automatic prospective and retrospective activation during SL

Vision Science Society 2018

Learning-induced illusions: Statistical regularities create false memories

Vision Science Society 2017

SL creates novel object associations via transitive relations

Cognitive Science Society 2016

Stimulus-specific regularities as a basis for perceptual induction

Vision Science Society 2015