On Wednesday 21st February we are pleased to welcome Dr Szonya Durant from the University of Surrey for our external seminar series.
What at are the basic building blocks of visual information available to us and how do we gather this information? I will begin by describing neural evidence based on evoked response potentials (ERPs) of the patterns we are able to extract rapidly pre-attentively from the visual scene. I will describe two studies using the visual mismatch negativity ERP component to evaluate how we parse the scene in the absence of focussed attention. The first study suggests that we are able to rapidly extract summary statistics in the form of the variance of a distribution thought to be useful in identifying the gist of a scene. The second study suggests that the durations of visual stimuli are automatically encoded and are a basic property we use to develop expectations of upcoming durations. In the final part of my talk I discuss work using mobile eye tracking, which considers the effect that eye movements have on the motion information we have available to us to help guide our own locomotion through the world. Eye movements play a dual role, stabilising the visual world as well as selecting relevant information, and it is this trade-off that mobile eye tracking paired with motion estimation can provide insights into.