Looking and seeing in the primary visual cortex

Seminar | December 13 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

 Zhaoping Li, University College London

 Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

I will present a review of the role of the primary visual cortex V1 in the functions of looking and seeing in vision. Looking is attentional selection, to select a fraction of visual inputs into the attentional bottleneck for deeper processing. Seeing is to infer or decode the properties of the selected visual inputs, e.g., to recognize a face. In particular, I show that V1 creates a bottom-up (exogeneous) saliency map of the scene to guide the shift of gaze or attentional spotlight. In addition, I will argue that peripheral vision is more for looking, to select a visual location which is then moved into the central visual field in natural behavior, and that central vision is more for seeing the properties of the selected visual location. I will show experimental data suggesting that central and peripheral vision differ from each other in the extent of top-down feedback to V1 for visual recognition. See: www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/Zhaoping.Li/ for references.