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On groups, patterns, shapes and objects: Towards a more integrative approach to understand the interrelationships between different perceptual processes

Dr. Johan Wagemans (PLEASE NOTE: TALK IS @ 1:00 PM, RM. 101 ON THURSDAY)

Thursday, May 13, 2010, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Leuven

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Perceptual grouping, figure-ground organization, shape detection and object recognition are all tasks the visual system can do. In real life outside the lab, these processes are supposed to operate as components of our visual system's normal way of processing the incoming information in support of our visually guided everyday activities. In the lab, however, these tasks are frequently studied with different types of stimuli because specific experimental paradigms have been developed in different research traditions. As a result, progress in understanding their interactions has been limited so far. We have been developing a set of stimuli and tasks that is more suitable to address issues regarding the interplay between different component processes. Specifically, we have used Gabor arrays derived from outlines of everyday objects and similar shapes in a more systematic, long-term research program. I will present a brief overview of several lines of on-going research to illustrate the variety of experimental paradigms as well as the potential benefits of a more integrative approach. The ultimate goal of this line of work is to better understand the interplay between the different component processes in the visual system, linking low-, mid- and high-levels of processing.


Dr. Johan Wagemans (PLEASE NOTE: TALK IS @ 1:00 PM, RM. 101 ON THURSDAY)