Peter Neri gives presentation: “Human sensory adaptation to the ecological structure of environmental statistics”

The rolfslab is happy to welcome Dr. Peter Neri who will give a talk at our weekly colloquia on 01.06 titled ” Human sensory adaptation to the ecological structure of environmental statistics.” Dr. Neri is located in Paris as the CNRS Director of Research and head of the Vision team (Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs). We are looking forward to learning from his expertise during his talk. An abstract of this talk is found below:

Humans acquire sensory information via fast, highly specialized detectors. For example, visual edge detectors acquire information from a specific region of space over just ~200 ms. At the same time, their operation displays remarkable adaptive properties, modulated by information from broader spatiotemporal scales. For example, it depends on stimulation from the past, and from distant regions of the image. In this talk, we take a further qualitative step in our understanding of these adaptive properties. We demonstrate that the operation of fast local visual sensors is shaped by the ecological consistency of slow global statistical structure in the environment. In our experiments, humans acquire feature information from brief localized elements embedded within a VR environment. Cast shadows are important for determining the appearance and layout of the environment. When the statistical reliability of shadows is manipulated, human feature detectors implicitly adapt to this information over timescales of minutes. More specifically, they adjust their response properties to emphasize either “image-based” or “object-based” anchoring of local visual elements, with the object-based representation being favored in the presence of reliable shadow information, and the image-based representation being favored when shadow information is unreliable. Our results demonstrate that the notion of sensory adaptation must be re-framed around complex statistical constructs with ecological validity. These constructs far exceed the selectivity bandwidth of sensory detectors, providing a compelling demonstration of the integrated nature of sensory processing during natural behaviour.

Peter gave two other talks at SCIoI while he was here. More information about these talks can be found below:

  1. Distinguished speaker series
  2. Thursday morning talk