Vision Sciences Society Meeting

In May 2016, the Vision Sciences Society 16th Annual Meeting took place in St. Pete’s Beach, USA. A delegation of HSE students and staff took part in the event.

The annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society is a major academic conference dedicated to issues of vision and visual perception. The event is traditionally organized once a year in Florida, USA. This year, the conference took place in the small town of St. Pete’s Beach.

The conference is one of the largest events in cognitive psychology, but its focus is not limited to the study of psychology. Its almost 2,000 participants include experts in neurosciences, biology, medicine, robotics, and usability. Research issues discussed by the participants are very varied, from the neurophysiological mechanisms that support certain components of the perception process, to the ethical issues involved in creating image recognition systems.

Poster sessions constitute a central part of the conference programme. There are also a few presentations and lectures by invited experts in vision sciences. This year, Patrick Cavanagh, head of the Attention & Vision Center at Paris Descartes University, delivered a public lecture entitled ‘The Artist as Neuroscientist’ which touched on some of the same themes as the lecture he gave earlier at HSE. The traditional Demo Night took place during the conference, where various labs presented optical illusions, including both classics and new ones.

The conference agenda is not limited to research, particular attention is paid to social and organizational issues. This year’s event included workshops on the problems of fundraising for research, the problems of career-building in science for women, as well as special meetings with professors for young postdocs and doctoral students, opening up opportunities for future cooperation. There were also social events, such as an opening night reception, which offered international guests the opportunity to mingle and engage in informal academic discussions.

This year, HSE was represented at the event with a delegation including both invited international staff as well as undergraduate and MA students. HSE staff and students gave 11 presentations at the conference:

  • W.Joseph MacInnes, Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, Temporal Onset Diffusion Model for spatial attention
  • Tadamasa Sawada, Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, Emulating and predicting physiological results of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) based on the divisive normalization model, co-authored with A.A. Petrov
  • Igor Utochkin, Head, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, Associate Professor,School of Psychology, Visual search for changes in scenes creates long-term, incidental memory traces, co-authored with J. Wolfe, Harvard Medical School
  • Elena Gorbunova, Lecturer, Department of General and Experimental Psychology, The role of perceptual similarity in visual search for multiple targets
  • Natalia Tiurina, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, Size averaging is based on distal, not proximal object sizes, co-authored with Igor Utochkin
  • Maria Yurevich, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, The capacity and fidelity of visual short-term memory for objects and ensembles, co-authored with Maria Bulatova and Igor Utochkin
  • Roman Vakhrushev, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, Ensemble perception under rapid serial visual presentation, co-authored with Igor Utochkin
  • Yury Markov, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, The compression of bound features in visual short-term memory, co-authored with Igor Utochkin
  • Vladislav Khvostov, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, Interplay between the Ebbinghaus illusion and hierarchical coding in visual working memory, co-authored with Igor Utochkin and Hee Yeon Im, Harvard Medical School
  • Anastasia Belinskaya, Research Assistant, Laboratory for Cognitive Research, Is there a general ‘statistical module’ in visual perception?, co-authored with Igor Utochkin
  • Nikolay Dagaev, MA student ‘Cognitive Sciences and Technologies: From Neuron to Cognition’, Executive Control in Manual Affordances, co-authored with Yury Shtyrov and Andriy Myachykov

Elena Gorbunova

Natalia Tyurina

Igor Utochkin