Assistant Professor

Artem Belopolsky

Assistant Professor

Phone: +31 (0) 20 598 8714
Room: 1B-81


I am involved in variety of projects on visual attention , eye movements, memory, reward, emotions, etc. using a wide variety of behavioral and neuroimaging methods. To list a few: Together with my PhD student Lisette Schmidt we are looking into how our attention is controlled by stimuli with emotional content such as angry faces. We use threat-conditioning to associate abstract colors or shapes with a chance of receiving an electrical shock. Together with my PhD student Paul Boon we are looking into how memory representations are updated when we move our eyes or when the objects in the environment move. In collaboration with the medical department I am investigating how radiologists diagnose medical images and why sometimes abnormalities go unnoticed.


After receiving a diploma from Department of Psychology at Moscow State University in 1999, I entered a graduate program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There I obtained my Master’s (2002) and PhD (2005) degrees, both under supervision of Prof. Arthur Kramer. In 2005 I moved to Amsterdam, where I started my post-doc in the Department of Cognitive Psychology at Vrije Universiteit, under supervision of Prof. Jan Theeuwes. In 2009 I was promoted to Assistant Professor.

Research interests

I am primarily interested in a very basic, but crucial question: to which extent are we in control over what information we select? We often believe that we pay attention only to the things that are relevant and important to us, but research has shown that our control is rather limited. Instead, we are often attracted by events in our environment despite our will and often without awareness.  I am interested in how and to which extent our attention is shaped and controlled by our experience, by things that we had done in the past and bypassing our voluntary control. I am also interested in links between visual attention and memory, and how they connect to the eye movement system.



Google Scholar

Recent publications

LJ Schmidt, AV Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2017) The time course of attentional bias to cues of threat and safety. Cognition and emotion 31 (5), 845-8575
PJ Boon, J Theeuwes & AV Belopolsky (2017) Eye abduction reduces but does not eliminate competition in the oculomotor systemBoon, Theeuwes, & Belopolsky. Journal of Vision 17 (5), 15-151
J Munneke, AV Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2016) Distractors associated with reward break through the focus of attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics 78 (7), 2213-22257
PJ Boon, AV Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2016) The Role of the Oculomotor System in Updating Visual-Spatial Working Memory across Saccades. PloS one 11 (9), e01618291
J Munneke, A Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2016) Direct and Indirect Mechanisms of Value-Driven Attentional Guidance. Journal of Vision 16 (12), 82-82
C Olivers & A Belopolsky (2016) Oculomotor Measures of Learning Attentional Templates. Journal of Vision 16 (12), 120-120
P Boon, J Theeuwes & A Belopolsky (2016) Eye abduction reduces competition in the oculomotor system. Journal of Vision 16 (12), 1265-1265
S Gayet, CLE Paffen, AV Belopolsky, J Theeuwes & S Van der Stigchel (2016) Visual input signaling threat gains preferential access to awareness in a breaking continuous flash suppression paradigm. Cognition 149, 77-8313
AV Belopolsky & E Awh (2016) The role of context in volitional control of feature-based attention.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 42 (2), 2131
PJ Boon, ZS Zeni, JL Theeuwes & AV Belopolsky (2016) Updating working memory across eye movements.
JD Silvis, AV Belopolsky, JWI Murris & M Donk (2015) The effects of feature-based priming and visual working memory on oculomotor capture. PloS one 10 (11), e01426963
S Gayet, C Paffen, A Belopolsky, J Theeuwes & S Van der Stigchel (2015) Fear conditioned visual information is prioritized for visual awareness.. Journal of vision 15 (12), 384-3841
J Silvis, A Belopolsky, J Murris & M Donk (2015) Feature priming rather than visual working memory affects oculomotor selection in a bottom-up manner.. Journal of vision 15 (12), 870-870
AV Belopolsky (2015) Common priority map for selection history, reward and emotion in the oculomotor system. Perception 44 (8-9), 920-93314
LJ Schmidt, AV Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2015) Potential threat attracts attention and interferes with voluntary saccades.. Emotion 15 (3), 32918
LJ Schmidt, AV Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2015) Attentional capture by signals of threat. Cognition and emotion 29 (4), 687-69451
B Bucker, AV Belopolsky & J Theeuwes (2015) Distractors that signal reward attract the eyes. Visual Cognition 23 (1-2), 1-2420
AV Belopolsky (2015) Selection history determines salience.
M Donk, JD Silvis, JW Murris & AV Belopolsky (2015) Feature Priming rather than Visual Working Memory affects Oculomotor Selection.
S Al-Janabi, P Allen, A Anderson, U Ansorge, B Armstrong, P Atchley & ... (2015) Visual Cognition Volume 23, 2015 List of Reviewers. Visual Cognition 23 (9-10), 1227-1229

View full list of publications on Google Scholar