Karen Schloss

Karen Schloss
Assistant Professor
330 North Orchard Street
Madison WI 53715
Room 3178
Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers
Visual perception and cognition in information visualization and virtual reality.

Years at WID

2016 - present


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 color cognition, information visualization, perceptual organization, and navigation in virtual environments. She 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.


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
  • B.A., Psychology, Barnard College, Columbia University


  • Vision Sciences Society
  • Psychonomic Society
  • Females of Vision, et al. (FoVea)
  • Women in Cognitive Science

Selected Publications

  • Schloss, K. B., Lessard, L., Racey, C., & Hurlbert, A. C. (online 2017). Modeling color preferences using color space metrics. Vision Research.
  • Schloss, K. B. & Palmer, S.E. (online 2017). An ecological framework for temporal and individual differences in color preferences. Vision Research.
  • Schloss, K. B., Nelson, R., Parker, L., Heck, I. A., & Palmer, S. E. (online 2016). Seasonal variations in color preference. Cognitive Science.
  • 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, 521-530.
  • Schloss, K. B. (2015). Color preferences differ with variations in color perception. Trends in Cognitive Science, 19, 554-555.
  • 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.
  • Schloss, K. B. & Palmer, S. E. (2011). Aesthetic response to color combinations: Preference, harmony, and similarity. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 73, 551-571.
  • Palmer, S. E. & Schloss, K. B. (2010). An ecological valence theory of color preferences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 8877-8882.