Karen Schloss

Assistant Professor


(608) 262-3810

322 Psychology

Research Area(s)
Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience

Lab Website
Schloss Visual Reasoning Lab

Research Interests
Karen Schloss is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Department of Psychology and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Her Visual Reasoning lab studies how people interpret meaning from visual features, with the goal of making visual communication more effective and efficient. With a primary focus on color, her lab addresses fundamental questions in information visualization, visual cognition, and aesthetic response. They also develop educational tools in virtual reality (VR) to help make science more accessible and engaging. Dr. Schloss received her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2005, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Architecture. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 and continued on as a Postdoctoral Scholar from 2011-2013. She spent three years as an Assistant Professor of Research in the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences at Brown University before joining the faculty at UW–Madison in 2016.

Representative Publications
Rathore, R., Leggon, Z., Lessard, L., Schloss, K. B. (in press). Estimating color-concept associations from image statistics. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25. ArticlePDF+SuppMat

Kinateder, M. Warren, W. H., & Schloss, K. B. (2019). What color are emergency exit signs? Egress behavior differs from verbal report. Applied Ergonomics, 75, 155-160. Link

Schloss, K. B., Gramazio, C. C., Silverman, A. T., Parker, M., L., & Wang, A. S. (2019). Mapping color to meaning in colormap data visualizations. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 25, 1, 1-10. ArticlePDF SuppMatPDF

Schloss, K. B., Lessard, L., Walmsley, C. S., & Foley, K. (2018). Color inference in visual communication: The meaning of colors in recycling. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 3, 5. PDF

Schloss, K. B. & Palmer, S.E. (online 2017). An ecological framework for temporal and individual differences in color preferences. Vision Research. Link

Gramazio, C. C., Laidlaw, D. H., and Schloss, K. B. (2017). Colorgorical: Creating discriminable and preferable color palettes for information visualization. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23, 1.PDF

Schloss, K. B., Fortenbaugh, F. C., & Palmer, S. E. (2014). The configural shape illusion. Journal of Vision, 14,8, 1-18. PDF

Palmer, S. E., Schloss, K. B., Xu, Z. X., & Prado-Leon, L. R. (2013). Music-color associations are mediated by emotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 22, 8836-8841. Link

Schloss, K. B. & Palmer, S. E. (2011). Aesthetic response to color combinations: Preference, harmony, and similarity. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 73, 551-571. PDF

Palmer, S. E. & Schloss, K. B. (2010). An ecological valence theory of color preferences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 8877-8882. PDF