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EVENT: Psychology Colloquium: Towards a new understanding of object perception (Prof Mary. A. Peterson) University of Arizona

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Today's date is Saturday, March 06, 2021
Psychology Colloquium: Towards a new understanding of object perception (Prof Mary. A. Peterson) University of Arizona Other events...
Psychology Colloquium

Tuesday 2nd May 4:00-5:00pm in Bayliss MCS G.33, followed by post-talk drinks in the Psychology Courtyard (or, in bad weather, the Psychology Common Room, 2nd floor of main psychology building)

Presenter: Prof Mary A. Peterson (U Arizona)

Title: Towards a new understanding of object perception.


Visual perception was long understood as a serial feedforward process in which, at a very early stage of processing, borders between regions in the visual input were assigned as bounding contours to the region on one side; this constituted object detection (aka figure assignment). The other region, lacking a shaping contour, was perceived as a locally shapeless ground to the object. On this feedforward view, object memories and semantics were accessed only after object detection occurred and only for objects ("figures"), not for grounds. Research in my laboratory shows that this traditional view is incorrect, and favors the alternative view that before object detection, a fast pass of processing activates multiple possible object hypotheses that could fit both sides of borders. These hypotheses compete for perception at high (e.g., perirhinal cortex of the MTL) and low (V1 and V2) levels of the visual hierarchy. The winner is detected/perceived; the loser is suppressed. In my talk, I will review some history and then summarize six recent experiments consistent with the view that object detection occurs via hierarchical Bayesian inference.

Speaker Bio:

Mary Peterson is a Professor and the Director of the Cognitive Science Program at the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona. She is also Affiliate Faculty at the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, Chair of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science, and an Executive Committee Member at the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior. Dr. Peterson investigates how we perceive the world visually. She uses cognitive neuroscience techniques (e.g., ERPs, fMRI, and behavioral methods) to investigate the competitive processes producing object perception, and how they are affected by context; the reciprocal relationship between perception and memory; feedforward and feedback mechanisms in perception; how unconsciously activated knowledge affects attention and perception; and how brain damage and aging affect the perception of, and memory for, objects. Her research is currently funded by the Office of Naval Research through a Multi-University Research Initiative. The National Science Foundation has been a major source of funding throughout her career. Professor Peterson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); of the American Psychological Association (APA); the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Psychonomic Society. She is an elected member of the International Neuropsychological Symposium (INS) and the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP). She has served on the Governing Boards of the Vision Sciences Society and the Psychonomic Society and as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society. She is a founding member of the Configural Processing Consortium, and is currently serving as the President (2016 present). She served twice as a member of the National Science Foundation, Human Perception and Action panel, as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, WIRES: Cognitive Science, and the Journal of Vision, in addition to reviewing articles for many journals and international granting agencies. Moreover, Dr. Peterson is one of the founding organizers of "Females of Vision, et al" (FoVea, https://www.facebook.com/FoveaVision/ founded in 2016), whose goal is to enhance the success of women in vision science; she obtained a grant from the National Science Foundation to support FoVea's activities (2016 2019). She has been a member of the advisory board of Women in Cognitive Science (https://womenincogsci.org/) since its inception in 2000. She has attended the WICS workshops held annually in association with the Psychonomic Society, serving as a WICS panel member (twice), a group discussion group leader, and as a speed mentor. In addition Dr. Peterson participates in WICS activities promoting women scientists throughout the year. At the University of Arizona, Dr. Peterson is a member of the Psychology Department Diversity Committee, and has held informal professional issues workshops with Psychology graduate students.

Ullrich Ecker, PhD Associate Professor Director, Community and Engagement School of Psychological Science University of Western Australia +61 (0)8 6488 3257 www.uwa.edu.au/people/ullrich.ecker www.cogsciwa.com
Speaker(s) Prof Mary Peterson (U Arizona)
Location Bayliss Building MCS G. 33
Contact Admin Psy <[email protected]> : 6488 3267
Start Tue, 02 May 2017 16:00
End Tue, 02 May 2017 17:00
Submitted by Admin Psy <[email protected]>
Last Updated Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:58
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