Lasana Harris completed his undergraduate education at Howard University in 2003 and earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University in 2007 under the supervision of Dr. Susan Fiske. He completed his post-doctorate research at New York University with Dr. Elizabeth Phelps in 2010. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at University College London. His research focuses on person perception—how we view others. Specifically, he examines physical perceptions of other people’s bodies, and social cognition—our ability to get inside the heads of other people—using an interdisciplinary approach. His research thus far demonstrates that this spontaneous ability is flexible; it can be extended to agents without minds (or heads), resulting in anthropomorphism, and can be withheld from other people, resulting in dehumanised perception. He also studies how cognitive abilities necessary for person perception are applied to non-human animals, objects, and entities. He uses the tools of neuroscience, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalograph (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), hormones, facial electromyography (EMG), galvanic skin response (GSR), heart-rate, eye-tracking, and patient populations in addition to behavioural measures. His work is particularly relevant for the social sciences and humanities and is able to constrain theory in disciplines such as history, literary studies, philosophy, political science, and economics.

This profile was last updated on June 1, 2018

Mind & Life Connections


2018 Summer Research Institute Session

Flexible Social Cognition and Dehumanisation

Lasana Harris

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Self & Other

2018 Summer Research Institute Session

Interdisciplinary Panel From Becoming Human to Dehumanization

Moderators: Carol Worthman
Panel: Lasana Harris, Polly Young Eisendrath, Robert Roeser, Carol Worthman