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About Me


I am an Assistant Professor and lead the Faces, Avatars, & Robots Lab (FAR Lab) in the Program of Color Science & Munsell Color Science Laboratory at Rochester Institute of Technology.  


Our research explores how the human face and the visual system interact, forming a powerful tool to transmit the myriad information that regulates social interactions. I am particularly interested in the visual and social information that is conveyed through changes in facial color appearance. 

Some primary goals of this research are to understand how the visual system perceives even subtle variations in face and skin color (e.g., visual detection & discrimination), and how facial color can influence judgments about the person (e.g., preference, emotion). 

This research focuses not only on real human faces, but also includes artificial social agents (e.g., social robots, avatars, emojis), as well as perceiving faces in virtual- and augmented- reality environments.

I am also broadly interested in color-emotion associations, measurement of skin color, and appearance of skin tones in art.


Christopher Thorstenson

Social Vision Researcher
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