Cognitive Neurosciences Seminar

Seminar | April 9 | 3-4:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

 Dr. Zhaoping Li, Computer Sciences. UCL

 Department of Psychology

Abstract: Investigations in the recent years have revealed an important functional role of the primary visual cortex (V1): it creates a bottom-up saliency map to guide attentional shifts exogenously. I will review these findings to motivate a new path to understanding vision. This new path views vision as made of three stages: encoding, selection, and decoding; the selection and decoding stages are roughly looking and seeing stages, respectively. Compared to traditional views of visual stages (e.g., low-level vision, mid-level vision, high level vision; or David Marr's primal sketch, 2.5 d sketch, and 3-d model), the new path includes a central selection stage to highlight the importance of the information bottleneck in vision, since only the attentionally selected visual input information can be further processed and perceived. The saliency map in V1 implies that selection can start as early as V1, and hence, visual processing along the visual pathway should be viewed in light of this selection. I will show a first example investigation motivated by this new path to study visual perception involving both V1 and higher visual areas.