2016 Symposia

Artifice versus realism as an experimental methodology

Organizer(s): Peter Scarfe, Department of Psychology, University of Reading, UK
Time/Room: Friday, May 13, 2016, 12:00 – 2:00 pm, Talk Room 1-2

How do we make valid inferences about brain and behavior based on experiments using stimuli and tasks that are extremely well characterized, but bare little resemblance to the real world? Is this even a problem? This symposium will bring together leading researchers who have taken differing approaches to striking a balance between the experimental control of “artifice” and the ecological validity of “realism”. The aim is to provoke debate about how best to study perception and action, and ask whether a fundamental shift is needed for us to truly understand the brain. More…

Boundaries in Spatial Navigation and Visual Scene Perception

Organizer(s): Soojin Park, Johns Hopkins University and Sang Ah Lee, University of Trento
Time/Room: Friday, May 13, 2016, 12:00 – 2:00 pm, Pavilion

Humans and nonhuman animals compute locations in navigation and scene perception by using a spontaneously encoded geometry of the 3D environmental boundary layouts. The aim of this symposium is to bridge research from various subfields to discuss the specific role of boundaries in the processing of spatial information and to converge on a coherent theoretical framework for studying visual representations of boundaries. To achieve this, our interdisciplinary group of speakers will discuss research on a broad range of subject populations, from rodents, to primates, to individuals with genetic disorders, using various experimental methods (developmental, behavioral, fMRI, TMS, single-cell and population coding). More…

What do deep neural networks tell us about biological vision?

Organizer(s): Radoslaw Martin Cichy, Department of Psychology and Education, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Time/Room: Friday, May 13, 2016, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Talk Room 1-2

To understand visual cognition we ultimately need an explicit and predictive model of neural processing. In recent years deep neural networks—brain-inspired computer vision models—have emerged as a promising model for visual capacities in the neurosciences. This symposium delivers the first results regarding how DNNs help us to understand visual processing in the human brain and provides a forum for critical discussion of DNNs: what have we gained, what are we missing, and what are the next steps? More…

What can we learn from #TheDress – in search for an explanation

Organizer(s): Annette Werner, Institute for Ophthalmic Research, Tübingen University
Time/Room: Friday, May 13, 2016, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pavilion

Few topics in colour research have generated so much interest in the science community and public alike, as the recent phenomenon #TheDress. The Symposium shall gather the actual experimental evidence and provide a profound basis for a discussion and evaluation of the hypotheses regarding the origin of the phenomenon. Furthermore, #TheDress is a chance for further insight into the nature of human colour perception, in particular with respect to individual differences, and cognitive influences, including memory, colour preferences and the interaction between peception and language. More…

ARVO@VSS: Information processing in a simple network: What the humble retina tells the brain.

Organizer(s): Scott Nawy, PhD, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Anthony Norcia, Stanford University
Time/Room: Friday, May 13, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Talk Room 1-2

This year’s biennial ARVO at VSS symposium features a selection of recent work on circuit-level analyses of retinal, thalamic and collicular systems that are relevant to understanding of cortical mechanisms of vision. The speakers deploy a range of state-of-the art methods that bring an unprecedented level of precision to dissecting these important visual circuits. More…

The parietal cortex in vision, cognition, and action

Organizer(s): Yaoda Xu, Harvard University and David Freedman, University of Chicago
Time/Room: Friday, May 13, 2016, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pavilion

The parietal cortex has been associated with a diverse set of functions, such as visual spatial processing, attention, motor planning, object representation, short-term memory, categorization and decision making. By bringing together researchers from monkey neurophysiology and human brain imaging, this symposium will integrate recent findings to update our current understanding of the role of parietal cortex in vision, cognition and action. By bridging different experimental approaches and diverse perceptual, cognitive, and motor functions, this symposium will also attempt to address whether it is possible to form a unified view of parietal functions. More…