What is Cognitive Science

Let's See What Happens: Dynamic Event Representation in the Human Mind

Dr. Brian Scholl

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 11:30am - 01:00pm

Yale University, Department of Psychology) (Note: Location Change to Fiber Optics Building, Auditorium

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What is the purpose of perception?  Perhaps the most common answer to this question is that perception is a way of figuring out *what's out there*, so as to better support adaptive interaction with our local environment.  Accordingly, the vast majority of work on visual processing involves representations such as features, objects, and scenes.  But the world consists of more than such static entities: out there, things *happen*.  And so I will suggest here that the underlying units of perception are often dynamic visual events.  In particular, I will describe how visual event representations provide a foundation for much of our mental lives, including attention and memory, causal understanding, naive physics, and even social cognition.  This presentation will involve some results and some statistics, but the key claims will also be illustrated with phenomenologically vivid demonstrations in which you'll be able to directly experience the importance of event perception -- via phenomena such as transformational apparent motion, rhythmic engagement, change blindness, and the perception of chasing.  Collectively, this work presents a new way to think about how perception is attuned to an inherently dynamic world.

RU 250 Guest Speaker, Dr. Brian Scholl

"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).