Raymond Pavloski will close this semester’s Science
Inspires lecture series with a presentation titled “The Natural Science
of Visual Objects.” The talk will take place on December 4 at 3:30
p.m. in 247 Johnson Hall.
examine visual objects as neural constructs. He has explored this concept for
12 years in his research, and will use his experience to shed light on the
relationship between neural activity and visual experience.
This talk will
mark the end of this semester’s very successful Science Inspires lecture series. The well-attended series
previously featured John Taylor and distinguished guest lecturer Karen
Matthews of the University of Pittsburgh.
for Pavloski’s talk is included below:
correspondence between specific aspects of conscious experience and neural
activity is the most striking aspect of brain function, the physical basis of
this relationship remains a mystery. Researchers typically take a very broad
approach to this problem, seeking a small set of neural processes that are
common to all types of conscious experience. Although some researchers are very
optimistic, this strategy has not led to an accepted theory.
will describe a different approach that is focused on finding aspects of visual
experience and aspects of neural processes that can both be specified using a common
formal description. Computer simulations of richly interconnected neural
networks are used to emulate known characteristics of the human visual system,
and simulation data are compared to vision data.
suggest that aspects of recurrent network feedback underlie certain aspects of
vision. Early work showed that low-dimensional patterns of feedback emerge in
response to retinal input, and that these patterns are characterized by the stability and subjectivity of visual percepts. Current work focuses on the
tolerance of a neural network to sufficiently small differences in recurrent
feedback generated by different neurons in the network. Simulations reveal that
tolerance yields patterns that are characterized by the continuity and unity
possessed by visual objects, and suggest that they may also possess additional properties
of human vision. Novel predictions and directions for future work will be
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics