"Sieving the sands of ignorance for pearls of wisdom using experimentation and an ample supply of patience"
This Friday, at 3pm in room 302, we have the great pleasure to announce that the one and only Anina Rich will present a talk titled "What is selected in feature binding"
Dr. Anina Rich completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Visual Attention Laboratory at the Harvard Medical School. She is now a NHMRC/Menzies Research Fellow at the MACCS centre at Macquarie University in Sydney.
Visual attention allows us to determine which features belong together to form a single object, but the way in which this process occurs is a topic of considerable research. We have been looking at feature binding in both space and time using brief displays of coloured letters either presented simultaneously in a circle around fixation, or sequentially in an RSVP stream. In these tasks, participants report the identity and colour of a cued item. Errors tend to contain features of objects that appear adjacent to the target. If visual selective attention selects objects or Boolean maps representing a conjunction of features, the identity and colour of the same item should be reported more often then the identity of one item and the colour of another. The results show, however, a striking lack of correlation between identity and colour errors, suggesting instead independent sampling of the feature dimensions. We find no evidence for intrusions of bound objects. The findings from this series of experiments therefore suggest that feature 'binding' results from certainty regarding the feature co-occurrence.
Anina's research is concerned with the way in which the human brain maintains a delicate balance between voluntary deployments of attention towards a goal, and involuntary shifts of attention caused by salient events in the environment.