Seminar Series 2008
"Working off the summer lethargy with an empirical exercise"
This Friday, at 3pm in room 302, we have the great pleasure to announce that our very own Dr. Stefanie I. Becker will present a talk titled "What are the factors that guide visual attention? A new approach"
Dr. Becker is perhaps best known for her exploits at the Sydney Summer Olympics, where she won a silver medal in the demonstration sport of chess. Controversy still surrounds the gold medal match, where Stefanie was disqualified for assaulting a flag waving Australian male, who refused to stop chanting 'Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi' during the Germany v Russia match. True to tradition, the Australian government then coxed Stefanie to emigrate, working on the premise that she could be converted to Taekwondo if Chess is not accepted as a full blown Olympic sport.
Dr. Becker is also actively engaged in research concerning the mechanisms underlying visual attention. Happily this has brought her here to UQ.
According to some (in)famous theories, attention is necessary to consciously perceive objects in the visual field. The crux is that we cannot attend to all items simultaneously, but have to shift attention serially towards different locations in the visual field. Given these limitations, it is important to find out what guides visual attention and which objects are selected first for further processing. Current theories of attentional guidance claim that attention is guided by two attentional systems; first, a purely stimulus-driven selection mechanism that directs attention towards salient items (i.e., items with high feature contrast), and secondly, a goal-directed mechanism that guides attention towards specific feature values that match the observers' intentions (e.g., red items). In my talk, I will review some of the critical evidence and propose a different explanation for some of the findings. In