New Discussant Added to the Funding Workshop Panel

VSS is pleased to announce that Lawrence R. Gottlob from the National Science Foundation will be joining Todd Horowitz from the National Cancer Institute and Cheri Wiggs from the National Eye Institute as a discussant at the VSS Workshop on Grantsmanship and Funding. Moderated by Mike Webster, the panel will discuss all aspects of the granting process and field questions.

Click here to learn more about the 2018 Funding Workshop and our panel of discussants.

Announcing the VSS 2018 Workshop on NIH Grantsmanship and Funding

Saturday, May 19, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Sabal/Sawgrass

Moderator: Mike Webster, University of Nevada, Reno
Discussants: Todd Horowitz, National Cancer Institute and Cheri WIggs, National Eye Institute

You have a great research idea, but you need money to make it happen. You need to write a grant. What do you need to know before you write a grant? How does the granting process work? Writing grants to support your research is as critical to a scientific career as data analysis and scientific writing. In this year’s session, we are focusing on the work of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Cheri Wiggs (National Eye Institute) and Todd Horowitz (National Cancer Institute) will provide insight into the inner workings of the NIH extramural research program. There will be time for your questions.

For more information about the session, go to Funding Workshop.

No registration is required. Attendees will be admitted on a first come, first served basis until the workshop is full.

The VSS Friends & Family Pass Is Back!

We hope that you will want to bring your family with you to VSS 2018! The VSS Friends and Family Pass will allow your family and friends to enjoy our many fun VSS social events. For $50.00, your travel companion can attend the Opening Night Reception and the amazing Demo Night Beach BBQ, as well as enjoy all Coffee/Snack Breaks and the Daily Continental Breakfast! Passes are $50.00 for the first guest, and $10.00 for each additional family member.

To purchase a Family & Friends Pass, please visit the VSS Registration Desk onsite. Passes will be required for entrance to all social events and meals, including the Friday evening Welcome Reception.

Note: The VSS Family & Friends Social Pass does not cover entrance to the scientific sessions.

VSS Board of Directors Election Now Open!

VSS is excited to announce that the election for two new members of the VSS Board of Directors is now open. To learn more about the candidates and cast your vote, go to Election. Please help shape the future of VSS!

You must be a Regular 2018 VSS Member to be eligible to vote.

The Election closes at 11:59 pm (latest time zone on the planet) on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Please consider voting now to avoid missing the deadline.

Registration Now Open for “Meet the Professor”

Monday, May 21, 2018, 4:30 – 5:45 pm, Banyan Breezeway

Students and postdocs are invited to the third annual “Meet the Professors” event, Monday afternoon from 4:30 to 5:45 pm, immediately preceding the VSS Dinner and Demo Night. This is an opportunity for a free-wheeling, open-ended discussion with members of the VSS Board and other professors. You might chat about science, the annual meeting, building a career, or whatever comes up.

This year, the event will consist of two 30-minute sessions separated by a 15-minute snack break. Please select a different professor for each session. Space is limited and is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

To view a list of professors and register for the event, go to Meet the Professors.

Announcing Melissa Le-Hoa Võ as the Recipient of the 2018 Young Investigator Award

Melissa Le-Hoa Võ, Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Head of the DFG-funded Emmy Noether Group, Scene Grammar Lab, Goethe Universität Frankfurt, is the winner of the 2018 Elsevier/VSS Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Võ received her PhD from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich in 2009. She then moved on to perform postdoctoral work, first with John Henderson at the University of Edinburgh, and then with Jeremy Wolfe at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Võ’s work has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including grants from the NIH and the German Research Council. In 2014, Melissa Võ moved back to Germany where as freshly appointed Full Professor for Cognitive Psychology she set up the Scene Grammar Lab at the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Dr. Võ is a superb scientist who has already had an extraordinary impact on our field. Her distinctive contribution has been to develop the concept of “scene grammar,” particularly scrutinizing the distinction between semantics and syntax in visual scenes. The distinction can be illustrated by considering scene components that are semantically incongruent (e.g. a printer in a kitchen) versus those that are syntactically incongruent (e.g. a cooking pot in a kitchen, floating in space rather than resting on a counter). Dr. Võ has used eye-tracking and EEG techniques in both children and adults to demonstrate that the brain processes semantic and syntactic visual information differentially, and has shown that scene grammar not only aids visual processing but also plays a key role in efficiently guiding search in real-world scenarios. Her work has implications in many areas, ranging from computer science to psychiatry. In addition to being a tremendously innovative and productive researcher, Dr. Võ is an active mentor of younger scientists and an award-winning teacher. Her outstanding contributions make her a highly worthy recipient of the 12th VSS Young Investigator Award.

Dr. Võ will speak at the VSS Awards Session on Monday, May 21 at 12:30 pm in Talk Room 1-2. To learn more about Melissa Võ’s talk, please visit the VSS website.

2018 Student Workshops & New Event for Undergrads

This year, VSS is exicited to offer two workshops for students and postdocs, as well as a special mixer for undergraduates.

VSS 2018 Student and Postdoc Workshops

The workshops are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no advanced registration.

Getting that Faculty Job

Saturday, May 19, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

David Brainard, University of Pennsylvania

Michelle Greene, Bates College
Tim Brady, UCSD
Nicole Rust, University of Pennsylvania
James Elder, York University

A key transition on the academic career path is obtaining a faculty position. This workshop will focus on the application process (optimizing CV, statements, letters), the interview and job talk, handling the two-body problem, and post-offer steps such as negotiation about start-up funds, space, and teaching responsibilities. Panelists include junior scientists who have recently obtained a faculty position as well as more senior scientists who can offer perspective from the hiring side of the process.

The Public Face of Your Science

Sunday, May 20, 2018, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Jeff Schall, Vanderbilt University

Allison Sekuler, McMaster University
Frans Verstraten, University of Sydney
Morgan Ryan, SpringerNature

Your research has several potential audiences. In this workshop, we will focus on the general public. When should you tell the world about your latest results? Always? Only if you think it is particularly noteworthy? Only when someone else asks? How should you communicate with the public? Social media? Press releases? How can you attract attention for your work (when you want to) and what should you do if you attract attention that you do not want? Our panel consists of two vision scientists, Allison Sekuler and Frans Verstraten, who have experience in the public eye and Morgan Ryan, the editor for SpringerNature, who handles the Psychonomic Society journals (including AP&P, PBR, and CRPI). Bring your questions.

More Information about the Student and Postdoc Workshops


Undergraduate Vision Researchers Mixer

Everyone is welcome. No registration is needed for this special event.
Sunday, May 20, 2018, 4:15 – 5:00 pm

Lynne Kiorpes, NYU (VSS Board member)
Nestor Matthews, Denison University (Council for Undergraduate Research, Psychology Division)

This meet-and-greet event will enable informal interaction among our undergraduate attendees. In addition, faculty will be present to learn about the concerns and priorities for undergraduates attending VSS so that relevant programming can be planned in future years. Refreshments will be served.

Announcing the 2018 Student Travel Award Winners

Congratulations to the  VSS 2018 Student Travel Award Winners. The VSS Travel Awards, sponsored by Elsevier/Vision Research, are presented to twenty graduate students who have submitted highly-rated abstracts for the 2018 Meeting. Awards are based upon the merit of the work that the student will be presenting as determined by the VSS Abstract Review Committee, as well as letters of support from advisors and a personal statement from the candidate. Click here to view each of the winners.


Announcing George Sperling as the Recipient of the 2018 Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science

Congratulations to George Sperling, the third recipient of the Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science. The Nakayama Medal was created to honor Professor Ken Nakayama’s contributions to the Vision Sciences Society, as well as his innovations and excellence to the domain of vision sciences.The winner 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.

George is a professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and the Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, University of California, Irvine. His research has resulted in numerous breakthroughs in vision science. Most recently, George has worked (with Charlie Chubb, Ted Wright, and Peng Sun) on developing efficient methods for measuring the perceptual attention filters that define feature attention.

For more information about George Sperling and an overview of his career, please visit the Ken Nakayama Award page on the VSS website.

George will be presented with the medal and deliver a talk at the 2018 VSS Awards Session on Monday, May 21, at 12:30 pm.

Announcing Nancy Kanwisher as the Recipient of the 2018 Davida Teller Award

Congratulations to Nancy Kanwisher, the sixth recipient of the Davida Teller Award, established to honor women vision scientists who have made exceptional contributions to the field of vision science and also have a strong history of mentoring.

Nancy is the Walter A. Rosenblith Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research uses fMRI and other methods to discover the functional organization of the brain as a window into the architecture of the human mind.

For more information about Nancy Kanwisher and her research, please visit the Davida Teller Award page on the VSS website.

Nancy will be presented with her award and deliver a talk at the 2018 VSS Awards Session on Monday, May 21, at 12:30 pm.