John I. Yellott Travel Award for Vision Science

The John I. Yellott Travel Award for Vision Science will be given annually to a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher who will be attending the VSS conference to present research that provides new quantitative insights into the human visual system.

The award was created in 2022 to honor Jack Yellott’s legacy of innovative, quantitative, and rigorous research that spanned many areas of vision science. His work was known for its ingenuity, creativity and clear mathematical reasoning.

Jack served as founding chair of the Department of Cognitive Sciences at University of California-Irvine. Throughout his career he served as a mentor and close collaborator to many outstanding vision scientists. He was a visible and friendly presence at ARVO and VSS. He was always interested to visit with young investigators, to listen to them and to share his thoughts, and offer support to the next generation of vision scientists. See more information about the life and work of John I. Yellott.

Application for the Yellott travel award will be made following the procedures established for other VSS travel awards. Those seeking a Yellott travel award will also be asked to indicate how their VSS presentation provides new quantitative insights into the human visual system and relates to the work of John Yellott.

This award was established by friends of John (Jack) Yellott.

Schedule

Applications Open: January 10, 2022
Deadline to Apply: January 24, 2022
Recipients Announced: February 15, 2022

2021 Young Investigator Award – Martina Poletti

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Martina Poletti with the 2021 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award.

The Young Investigator Award is an award given to an early-stage researcher who has already made a significant contribution to our field. The award is sponsored by Elsevier, and the awardee is invited to submit a review paper to Vision Research highlighting this contribution.

Martina Poletti

Assistant Professor
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
University of Rochester

The 2021 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award goes to Dr. Martina Poletti for fundamental contributions to our understanding of eye movements, microsaccades, and the nature of visual-motor function and attention within the foveola. Dr. Poletti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester. She received her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree at the University of Padova and completed her doctoral and postdoctoral work at Boston University.

Dr. Poletti’s research addresses core questions regarding the interplay of attention and eye movements at the foveal scale. Her scholarly contributions will help revise textbook descriptions of the central fovea as a region of uniformly high acuity and microsaccades as involuntary eye movements, which purpose is to merely refresh the retinal image during fixation. Dr. Poletti’s experiments have capitalized on high-resolution eye tracking and gaze-contingent display to demonstrate that microsaccades are not random but purposeful, serving to bring task-relevant items to the preferred region within the foveola. Her work has revealed that fine spatial vision within the 1-deg foveola is non-uniform and it is selectively modulated by attention. Within this microcosm of visual space, covert and overt shifts of attention can still be observed operating with a remarkably high-precision, and guiding microsaccades in an active exploration of details. Dr. Poletti’s research exemplifies creative experimentation, cutting-edge methodology, and rigorous evaluation of longstanding theories in vision science.

The interplay of attention and eye movements at the foveal scale

Dr. Poletti will speak during the Awards session,
Sunday, May 23, 2021, 2:30 – 3:30 pm EDT.

Human vision relies on a tiny region of the retina, the foveola, to achieve high spatial resolution. Foveal vision is of paramount importance in daily activities, yet its study is challenging, as eye movements incessantly displace stimuli across this region. Building on recent advances in eye-tracking and gaze-contingent display, we have examined how attention and eye movements operate at the foveal level. We have shown that exploration of fine spatial detail unfolds following visuomotor strategies reminiscent of those occurring at larger scales. Together with highly precise control of attention, this motor activity is linked to non-homogenous processing within the foveola and selectively modulates sensitivity both in space and time. Therefore, high acuity vision is not the mere consequence of placing a stimulus at the center of gaze: it is the outcome of a synergy of motor, cognitive, and attentional processes, all finely tuned and dynamically orchestrated.

2021 Elsevier/Vision Research Travel Awards

VSS is grateful to Elsevier/Vision Research for their generous support of this year’s virtual meeting. Congratulations to the following VSS student and postdoc members who received a V-VSS 2021 Elsevier/Vision Research Travel Award, which allows them to present at V-VSS at no additional cost:

Graduate Students

Etienne Abassi, CNRS, France
Zoha Ahmad, York University, Canada
Michael Allen, University of California, San Diego, US
Alberto Aviles, University of Birmingham, UK
Naila Ayala, University of Waterloo, Canada
Ionela Bara, Bangor University, UK
Asma Braham Chaouche, Université de Montréal, Canada
Cristina Ceja, Northwestern University, US
Shanna H Coop, University of Rochester, US
Sarah Cormiea, Johns Hopkins University, US
Deepa Dhungel, University of Houston, US
Dylan D. Doblar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
Wei Dou, University of California, Santa Cruz, US
Catherine Dowell, University of Southern Mississippi, US
Eric Elmoznino, Johns Hopkins University, US
Simon Faghel-Soubeyrand, Université de Montréal, Canada
Prasakti Tenri Fanyiwi, Newcastle University, UK
Derartu Fite, University of Nevada, Reno, US
Julie Freschl, University of Massachusetts Boston, US
Laura Geurts, Donders Insitute, Radboud University, Netherlands
Jessica Goetz, University of Central Florida, US
Michael Granovetter, Carnegie Mellon University, US
Matthew Groh, MIT, US
Xuanru Guo, Kyushu University, Japan
Chihye Han, Johns Hopkins University, US
Hanna Haponenko, McMaster University, Canada
Geoffrey Harrison, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
Brittney Hartle, York University, Canada
Shekoofeh Hedayati, The Pennsylvania State University, US
Lukas S. Huber, University of Tübingen, Germany
Polina Iamshchinina, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Jessica Ip, University of British Columbia, Canada
Georgin Jacob, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
Victoria L. Jacoby, University of California, Los Angeles, US
Michael Jigo, New York University, US
Gustavo Juantorena, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Jonathan Keefe, University of California, San Diego, US
Sarah Kerns, Wellesley College, US
Vladislav Khvostov, HSE University, Russia
Jessica Knötzele, Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP), Germany
Maria Kon, Purdue University, US
Karolina Krzys, Queen’s University, Canada
Menahal Latif, Ryerson University, Canada
Sofia Tkhan Tin Le, NRU HSE, Russia
Kassandra Lee, University of Nevada, Reno, US
Samantha Lee, University of Nevada, Reno, US
Shi Pui Li, Johns Hopkins University, US
Yanjun Li, University of Minnesota, US
Yibiao Liang, University of Massachusetts Boston, US
Ming-Ray Liao, Texas A&M University, US
Y. Isabella Lim, University of Toronto, Canada
Ying Lin, University of Rochester, US
Daniel Lindh, University of Birmingham, UK
Xinyu Liu, University of Minnesota, US
Michael Lopez-Brau, Yale University, US
Jiang Mao, University of Pennsylvania, US
Hannah Masoner, University of Southern Mississippi, US
Kate McKay, The University of Queensland, Australia
M. Fiona Molloy, The Ohio State University, US
Audrey Morrow, University of California, Santa Cruz, US
Kushin Mukherjee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, US
William Narhi-Martinez, The Ohio State University, US
Mahan Nayeb Ghanbar Hosseini, School of Computing, Germany
Sonisha Neupane, Indiana University, US
Irfa Nisar, York University, Canada
Snehal Padhye, Rochester Institute of Technology, US
Ruben Pastilha, Newcastle University, UK
Boris Penaloza, University of Denver, US
Shima Rashidi, University of Melbourne, Australia
Elena Sanz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Maria Servetnik, KU Leuven, Belgium
Brynn Sherman, Yale University, US
Young Seon Shin, Florida Atlantic University, US
Male Shiva Ram, University of Hyderabad, India
Taylor Simonson, Kansas State University, US
Elisabeth Slifkin, University of Central Florida, US
Maverick Smith, Kansas State University, US
Gaeun Son, University of Toronto, Canada
Mirta Stantic, University of Oxford, UK
Zoe Stearns, University of Rochester, US
Susanne Stoll, University College London, UK
Tyler Surber, The University of Southern Mississippi, US
Duyan Ta, Arizona State University, US
Louisa Talipski, The Australian National University, Australia
Keren Taub, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Xue Teng, York University, Canada
Ehsan Tousi, Western University, Canada
Caitlin Tozios, University of Toronto, Canada
Yanshuai Tu, Arizona State University, US
Zhiyan Wang, Brown University, US
Emma Ward, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Phillip Witkowski, University of California, Davis, US
Tristan Yates, Yale University, US
Ling-Qi Zhang, University of Pennsylvania, US
Yuan Zhang, Shanghai University of Sport, China
Ziyao Zhang, Lehigh University, US
Zhetuo Zhao, University of Rochester, US
Lei Zheng, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Germany

Postdocs

Doug Addleman, Dartmouth College, US
Emma Alexander, University of California, Berkeley, US
Andrea Bocincova, University of Oxford, UK
Nico Broers, University of Münster, Germany
Antimo Buonocore, University of Tübingen, Germany
Andrew Clement, Texas A&M University, US
Cristina-Ioana Galusca, CNRS Université Grenoble Alpes, France
Haydee Garcia-Lazaro, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, US
Simen Hagen, Université de Lorraine, France
Sabrina Hansmann-Roth, SCALab, France
Christopher Henry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, US
Zoey Isherwood, University of Nevada, Reno, US
Haiyang Jin, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Kohitij Kar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US
Mohana Kuppuswamy Parthasarathy, University of Nevada, Reno, US
Justin Lieber, New York University, US
Yong-Jun Lin, New York University, US
Caterina Magri, Johns Hopkins University, US
Mukesh Makwana, Brown University, US
Tyler Manning, University of California, Berkeley, US
Melisa Menceloglu, Brown University, US
Jorge Morales, Johns Hopkins University, US
Timothy Oleskiw, New York University, US
Ori Ossmy, New York University, US
Keiji Ota, New York University, US
Jeongho Park, Harvard University, US
Yujia Peng, University of California, Los Angeles, US
Antonella Pomè, University of Florence, Italy
Cheng Qiu, University of Pennsylvania, US
Fernando Ramírez, NIMH, US
Morteza Rezanejad, University of Toronto, Canada
Garrett Swan, Schepens Eye Research Institute, US
Ömer Dağlar Tanrikulu, University of Iceland, Iceland
Sophia Vinci-Booher, Indiana University, US
Lauren Williams, University of California, San Diego, US

2021 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science – Gerald Westheimer

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Gerald Westheimer with the 2021 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science.

The Ken Nakayama Medal is in honor of Professor Ken Nakayama’s contributions to the Vision Sciences Society, as well as his innovations and excellence to the domain of vision sciences.

The recipient of the Ken Nakayama Medal receives this honor for high-impact work that has made a lasting contribution in vision science in the broadest sense. The nature of this work can be fundamental, clinical or applied.

Gerald Westheimer

Gerald Westheimer received his PhD degree in Physics: Physiological Optics at Ohio State under Glenn Fry in 1953 after completing optometry studies at the Sydney Technical College, a B.Sc. in mathematics and physiology at the University of Sydney and several years of private practice in Sydney, Australia. His post-doctoral education included the Nerve-Muscle Program at Woods Hole under Steven Kuffler, and a year at the Cambridge Physiological Laboratory, where he collaborated with Fergus Campbell and John Robson on the eye’s accommodative mechanism and attended E.H. Linfoot’s course on Fourier optics. After teaching optics and vision science in the optometry schools successively of Houston, Ohio State and Berkeley he was appointed as Professor of Physiology in Berkeley in 1967 and, when the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology was formed in 1987, as founding Head of its Division of Neurobiology. In 1994 he became Professor of the Graduate School at Berkeley as well as adjunct professor in the Laboratory of Neurobiology at the Rockefeller University, New York.

There are few facets of the visual system that Gerald Westheimer has not been involved in during his long career as active experimentalist, theoretician, scholar of the history of vision science, laboratory head, mentor and sponsor of independent research by post-doctoral and visiting scholars from around the world. His recognitions include election to the Royal Society of London and its Ferrier Lecture, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Honorary Member of the Royal Society of NSW, the Tillyer Medal of the Optical Society, Proctor Medal of ARVO, Prentice Medal of the American Academy of Optometry, International von Sallman Prize in Ophthalmology, Barry Collins Medal of the Australian Optometric Association, Glenn Fry Medal of Ohio State University, several honorary degrees and Membership of the Order of Australia.

From his experiences in the optometry clinic Gerald formed an abiding interest in the eye’s optics and image formation, resolution and acuity. This led to his progressively deeper fascination with in the spatial sense of the eye in two and three dimensions, stereopsis and ocular motility. He used the research methodologies of optics, psychophysics, alert primate single unit recordings and right from their advent in the 1950’s, electronic computers. Rigorous training in mathematics and physics in Sydney enabled him to engage in the areas of systems theory and Fourier optics as they emerged, and to pioneer their application in visual science. Motivated primarily by an interest in and curiosity about human vision rather than the practice of particular scientific disciplines, Gerald concluded that, much as the analysis of visual phenomena should proceed initially by applying the knowledge and principles of the physical sciences, full understanding cannot be reached solely through that route but needs guidance from knowledge derived from observers’ awareness. With this approach, he made seminal discoveries in understanding the optics of the eye, binocular vision, spatial vision, eye-movements, learning and visual illusions. One example of his many contributions is his discovery how humans are able to discern small changes in the relative position of a stimulus that are an order of magnitude smaller than the smallest foveal cones in the retina. He termed this remarkable ability “hyperacuity” – a term that is now widely used, and elucidated many of its properties. In this, and in many other ways he shaped the growth of vision research. Vision science has benefited in lasting ways from Gerald’s research discoveries, his acumen, his scientific rigor, and his commitment to getting it right.

Dr. Westheimer will speak during the Awards session,
Sunday, May 23, 2021, 2:30 – 3:30 pm EDT
.

2021 Davida Teller Award – Marisa Carrasco

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Dr. Marisa Carrasco with the 2021 Davida Teller Award

VSS established the Davida Teller Award in 2013. Davida was an exceptional scientist, mentor and colleague, who for many years led the field of visual development. The award is therefore given to an outstanding female vision scientist in recognition of her exceptional, lasting contributions to the field of vision science.

Marisa Carrasco

Julius Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science,  New York University

Marisa Carrasco investigates visual perception and attention, using human psychophysics, neuroimaging, neurostimulation, and computational modeling in order to study the relation between the psychological and neural mechanisms involved in these processes. Her research has revealed how attention modulates perceptual performance and alters appearance in a variety of visual tasks. Marisa grew up in Mexico City and earned her Licentiate in Psychology, specializing in experimental psychology, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where she graduated summa cum laude. Marisa then obtained her MS and PhD in psychology, specializing in cognition and perception, from Princeton University, where she received the highest scholarly excellence award, the Jacobus Honorific Fellowship. She became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University in 1989. While at Wesleyan Dr. Carrasco received an NSF Young Investigator Award and an American Association of University Women Fellowship. She joined NYU in 1995 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor of Psychology and Neural Science in 2002. She served as chair of the NYU Psychology Department from 2001-2007. NIH and NSF have continuously supported Carrasco’s research at NYU. Professor Carrasco received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Cattell Fellowship and was named a fellow of the American Psychological Society and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2021); at NYU, she has been Collegiate Professor since 2007 and was named Julius Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science in 2019. Among her many other contributions to the vision sciences community, Marisa Carrasco has served as president of both the Vision Sciences Society and the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness and as a senior editor of two scientific journals, Journal of Vision and Vision Research.

Marisa Carrasco has had a profound impact on the field of vision science and attention through her multi-disciplinary research and through her mentorship activity. She is well-known as a dedicated teacher and mentor of undergraduate students, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. This is in part evidenced by her receipt of the NYU award for excellence in postdoc mentoring in 2018.

Marisa forged her research career in an era when the field of vision science had few women. Through her efforts she not only advanced her own research; she has also been an invaluable and generous role model for the many students she has taught and mentored through the years. With this award, VSS recognizes Professor Marisa Carrasco’s outstanding research and thanks her for being a wonderful scientist, mentor, and colleague.

Dr. Carrasco will speak during the Awards session,
Sunday, May 23, 2021, 2:30 – 3:30 pm EDT.

2020 Elsevier/Vision Research Travel Awards

VSS is grateful to Elsevier/Vision Research for their generous support of this year’s virtual meeting. Congratulations to the following VSS student and postdoc members who received an Elsevier/Vision Research Travel Award, which allowed them to present at V-VSS at no additional cost:

Aakash Agrawal, Indian Institute of Science, India
Emily J. Allen, University of Minnesota, US
Jordi Asher, University of Essex, UK
Celine Aubuchon, Brown University, US
Lauren S. Aulet, Emory University, US
Vladislav Ayzenberg, Emory University, US
Carolyn Baer, University of British Columbia, Canada
Elizabeth Bennette, University of California, San Diego, US
Bruno Bianchi, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sage Boettcher, University of Oxford, UK
Ann Carrigan, Macquarie University, Australia
Cristina Ceja, Northwestern University, US
Oakyoon Cha, Vanderbilt University, US
Angus Chapman, University of California San Diego, US
William Charles, Fordham University, US
Yi-Chia Chen, Harvard University, US
Andrey Chetverikov, Radboud University, Netherlands
Martin Constant, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
Shanna Coop, University of Rochester, US
Cristina de la Malla, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
Madison Elliott, University of British Columbia, Canada
Serra Favila, Columbia University, US
Julie Freschl, University of Massachusetts Boston, US
Ashley Funkhouser, The University of Southern Mississippi, US
Josselin Gautier, University of California Berkeley, US
Robert Geirhos, University of Tuebingen, Germany
Erin Goddard, University of New South Wales, Australia
Amanda Golden Eddy, California State University, Fullerton, US
Lukasz Grzeczkowski, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Germany
Susan Hao, UC Berkeley, US
Christopher I. Hernandez, University of Central Florida, US
Sirawaj Itthipuripat, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand
OIiver Jacobs, University of British Columbia, Canada
Akila Kadambi, UCLA, US
Philipp Kaniuth, Max Planck Institute, Germany
Harun Karimpur, University Giessen, Germany
Sarah Kerns, Wellesley College, US
Vladislav Khvostov, NRU Higher School of Economics, Russia
Kaleb T. Kinder, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, US
Maria Kon, Purdue University, US
Anna Kosovicheva, Northeastern University, US
Rebecca Kozak, Western University, US
Jessica Kubert, Emory University, US
Eline R. Kupers, New York University, US
Anna Leshinskaya, UC Davis, US
Xian Li, Harvard Medical School, US
Ming-Ray Liao, Texas A&M University, US
Ying Lin, University of Rochester, US
Paul Linton, University of London, UK
Ghazaleh Mahzouni, University of California, Santa Cruz, US
Miles Martinez, Brown University, US
Ankit Maurya, S R Engineering College, India
Maruti Mishra, Harvard Medical School, US
Austin Moon, University of California, Riverside, US
Annie Morsi, University College London, UK
Matthias Nau, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, US
Karen Navarro, University of Minnesota, US
Asal Nouri, Florida Atlantic University, US
Joan Danielle K. Ongchoco, Yale University, US
Su Hyoun Park, University of Delaware, US
Ruben Pastilha, Newcastle University, UK
Karissa B. Payne, Kansas State University, US
Charisse B. Pickron, University of Minnesota, US
Ulrich Pomper, University of Vienna, Austria
Jacob S. Prince, Harvard University, US
Rebecca E. Ranson, Essex University, UK
Leeland Rogers, University of Delaware, US
Tiasha Saha Roy, Indian Institute of  Science Education and Research Kolkata, India
Christine Salahub, Brock University, Canada
Marco Sama, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada
D. Merika W. Sanders, University of Massachusetts Amherst, US
Lindsay Santacroce, University of Houston, US
Dawn Sarno, University of Central Florida, US
Svea C. Y. Schroeder, University of Muenster, Germany
Juan Sepulveda, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Sabyasachi Shivkumar, University of Rochester, US
Andrew Silva, University of Waterloo, Canada
Caitlin Sisk, University of Minnesota, US
Elena Sizikova, New York University, US
Emily Slezak, University of Chicago, US
Maverick Smith, Kansas State University, US
Mirta Stantic, University of Oxford, UK
Adam Steel, Dartmouth College, US
Vijay K. Tailor, University College London, UK
Melissa Trevino, National Cancer Institute, US
Domenico Tullo, McGill University, Canada
Jan Tünnermann, Philipps University of Marburg, Germany
Michele Winter, University of California, Berkeley, US
Sami Yousif, Yale University, US

2020 Young Investigator Award – Timothy Brady

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Timothy Brady with the 2020 Young Investigator Award.

The Young Investigator Award is an award given to an early stage researcher who has already made a significant contribution to our field. The award is sponsored by Elsevier, and the awardee is invited to submit a review paper to Vision Research highlighting this contribution.

Timothy Brady

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
University of California, San Diego

The 2020 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award goes to Professor Timothy Brady for his fundamental contributions to the scientific study of visual memory. Tim Brady is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology, UCSD. After completing his undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science at Yale University, Prof Brady did his PhD with Aude Oliva at MIT and then post-doctoral research with George Alvarez at Harvard University.

Prof Brady uses a combination of behavioral methods, cognitive neuroscience techniques and computational modelling to probe representations in the visual system and the processes by which visual information is encoded in working memory and integrated into long-term
storage. He has made numerous surprising discoveries about the extreme fidelity and detail of visual long-term memories for objects and scenes, and has demonstrated how statistical learning and ensemble encoding of features facilitates the maintenance and storage of complex stimuli like natural scenes. Prof Brady’s work has helped broaden the study of working memory to include richer, more naturalistic stimuli, and repeatedly challenged long-standing assumptions about the nature of visual representations. In a series of highly-cited studies he has shown how remembered objects are stored as groups of distinct parts that can be independently forgotten, and that when multiple items must be remembered, the brain computes summary statistics across the group. Prof Brady is not only a gifted and productive experimentalist—he has also made substantial contributions to the theoretical understanding of visual memory representations through computational modelling, as well as providing numerous useful tools for the community.

The nature of visual memory

Professor Brady will speak during the Awards session,
Saturday, May 22, 2021, 4:30 – 5:30 pm EDT.

In the real world, objects are discrete physical entities – your coffee mug either is or is not in your hand. As a result, both in everyday life and in memory research, there is a tendency to use a physical metaphor to understand memory: people tend to think of an object they are trying to remember as either in mind or not in their mind, and to say that we hold items in mind, as we hold real objects in our hand. This metaphor serves as a core mental model used in most conceptions of memory: all-or-none, discrete, and functioning at the level of entire objects or other discrete representations or chunks. In this brief talk, I’ll argue for a new way of thinking about memory that strongly contrasts with this common and intuitive view. I’ll show that individuated items are far from the only kind of representation people form, and that it is necessary to consider interactions among an entire hierarchy of representations (from semantic knowledge to ensemble information, chunks and items) to understand memory even for a single item. Next, I’ll show that memory representations, even for single items, are population-based and continuous in strength. Altogether, I’ll argue that even for those interested in cognition, analogies from neuroscience — with population codes, hierarchical representations and noisy signals — best allow us to understand memory limits, rather than physical analogies about discrete items.

2020 Davida Teller Award – Marlene Behrmann

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Dr. Marlene Behrmann with the 2020 Davida Teller Award

VSS established the Davida Teller Award in 2013. Davida was an exceptional scientist, mentor and colleague, who for many years led the field of visual development. The award is therefore given to an outstanding female vision scientist in recognition of her exceptional, lasting contributions to the field of vision science.

Marlene Behrmann

University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Carnegie Mellon University
Marlene Behrmann received her B.A. in Speech and Hearing Therapy in 1981, followed by her M.A. in Speech Pathology in 1984, both from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She then obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1991. She was a Research Scientist at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto before moving to Carnegie Mellon University in 1993, where she is currently a University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. Dr. Behrmann was elected a member of the Society for Experimental Psychologists in 2008, inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in 2015, and into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2019. Her prior recognitions include the Presidential Early Career in Science and Engineering and the Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions in Cognitive Neurosciences Award.

Dr. Behrmann is a trailblazer and a world leader in the field of visual cognition. Her work represents the best of cognitive neuroscience, seamlessly blending insights gained from neuropsychology, modeling, cutting-edge functional and structural brain imaging, and behavioral experiments. She has made major contributions across a wide range of topics, including attention, the neural basis of autism, specialization between hemispheres in the brain, face recognition and disorders of face recognition, visual object recognition, word recognition, and visual imagery. Dr. Behrman’s work is characterized by her remarkable ability to examine an issue rigorously from many vantage points, and from there to develop, test, and refine theories of how a given behavior arises from the underlying brain function. In addition, she has an exceptional record of mentorship throughout her career in promoting and supporting students at all stages. Dr. Behrmann embodies the characteristics that we so admired in Davida Teller, and it is with pride that the Society recognizes her accomplishments through the Davida Teller Award.

Hemispheric organization and pattern recognition

Dr. Behrmann will speak during the Awards session,
Saturday, May 22, 2021, 4:30 – 5:30 pm EDT.

Despite the overall similarity in structure, the two hemispheres of the human brain have somewhat different functions. A traditional view of hemispheric organization asserts that there are independent and largely lateralized domain-specific visual regions in ventral occipitotemporal, specialized, if not dedicated, and perhaps innate, for the recognition of distinct classes of objects such as words and faces. In this talk, I will offer an alternative account of the organization of the hemispheres. I will present an account of interactive and graded organization of both within- and between-hemisphere organization. The crux of the account is that mature hemispheric organization emerges from a competitive and collaborative dynamic in which in right-handers, during the acquisition of literacy, word recognition comes to be co-localized with language lateralization in the left hemisphere. Consequently, face recognition is shifted, albeit not entirely, to the right hemisphere. Behavioral and imaging data from adults and over development will provide evidence to support this hypothesis of graded asymmetry.
Last, I will show that this pattern of organization is malleable and that, in children who have had a unilateral posterior cortical resection, the preserved hemisphere can subserve both word and face recognition. Together, these findings support a dynamic interactive process by which hemispheric organization emerges and unfolds with experience.

2020 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science – Edward Adelson

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Edward Adelson with the 2020 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science.

The Ken Nakayama Medal is in honor of Professor Ken Nakayama’s contributions to the Vision Sciences Society, as well as his innovations and excellence to the domain of vision sciences.

The recipient of the Ken Nakayama Medal receives this honor for high-impact work that has made a lasting contribution in vision science in the broadest sense. The nature of this work can be fundamental, clinical or applied.

Edward ‘Ted’ Adelson

John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Vision Science, MIT

Edward ‘Ted’ Adelson received his B.A. in Physics & Philosophy in 1974 from Yale University, followed by a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan (1979). After a postdoctoral position at NYU he became a research scientist at RCA labs. Ted then joined the faculty at MIT in 1987, first in the Media Lab, before moving to the department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences in 1994. Currently, Ted is the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Vision Science at MIT, in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Ted has received many prior awards and is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Over his career Ted has made fundamental and wide-ranging contributions to the scientific study of vision and perception. His work is the stuff of textbooks and perception courses, and the illusions he has discovered have inspired and beguiled researchers and the general public alike. Indeed, Ted is able to bring visual phenomena to a highly purified state, so that his demonstrations will remain standard references for generations to come. More generally, Ted’s work bridges across the full range of vision science, and includes seminal contributions to theory, psychophysics, computational modelling, and neurophysiology. From low-level mechanisms of retinal adaptation, to the motion energy model, texture processing, lightness perception, pyramid decompositions, the plenoptic function, ‘things’ vs ‘stuff’ and material perception, practically everything Ted has done has opened new avenues of investigation and understanding in ways that have helped define the field. He is also known as an amazing supervisor, and many of his trainees have themselves gone on to make fundamental contributions to our understanding of vision. Ted Adelson easily meets, several times over, the Nakayama Award’s criterion of having made exceptional, lasting contributions to vision science.

Dr. Adelson will speak during the Awards session,
Saturday, May 22, 2021, 4:30 – 5:30 pm EDT.

2019 Young Investigator – Talia Konkle

The Vision Sciences Society is honored to present Talia Konkle with the 2019 Young Investigator Award.

The Young Investigator Award is an award given to an early stage researcher who has already made a significant contribution to our field. The award is sponsored by Elsevier, and the awardee is invited to submit a review paper to Vision Research highlighting this contribution.

Talia Konkle

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Harvard University

Talia Konkle earned Bachelor degrees in applied mathematics and in cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley.  Under the direction of Aude Oliva, she earned a PhD in Brain & Cognitive Science at MIT in 2011. Following exceptionally productive years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Harvard and at the University of Trento, in 2015, Dr. Konkle assumed a faculty position in the Department of Psychology & Center for Brain Science at Harvard.

Dr. Konkle’s research to understand how our visual system organizes knowledge of objects, actions, and scenes combines elegant behavioral methods with modern analysis of brain activity and cutting-edge computational theories. Enabled by sheer originality and analytical rigor, she creates and crosses bridges between previously unrelated ideas and paradigms, producing highly cited publications in top journals. One line of research demonstrated that object processing mechanisms relate to the physical size of objects in the world. Pioneering research on massive visual memory, Dr. Konkle also showed that detailed visual long-term memory retrieval is linked more to conceptual than perceptual properties.

Dr. Konkle’s productive laboratory is a vibrant training environment, attracting many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Konkle has also been actively involved in outreach activities devoted to promoting women and minorities in science.

From what things look like to what they are

Dr. Konkle will talk during the Awards Session
Monday, May 20, 2019, 12:30 – 1:45 pm, Talk Room 1-2

How do we see and recognize the world around us, and how do our brains organize all of this perceptual input? In this talk I will highlight some of the current research being conducted in my lab, exploring the representation of objects, actions, and scenes in the mind and brain.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save