--- Postponed due to crazy weather ---
Speaker: A/Prof Stefanie Becker (UQ)
Topic: Cognitive Neuroscience - The factors determining attention, eye movements, and awareness
Our eyes move on average 3 times in a second, resulting in over 150,000 eye movements a day. It is well-known that eye movements are essential for visual perception and selection, amongst other things, because visual acuity decreases dramatically in the periphery of vision. However, there is still a dispute about the factors and mechanism that determine where we will be looking, what kind of information is selected in each instance, and how this aids perception. In this talk I will provide an overview of the current debate, point to some problematic aspects in current models of visual selection and eye movement control, and introduce a new relational account, which centrally assumes that visual selection and eye movements are fundamentally context-dependent. Contrary to the prevalent view, it is shown that object recognition is also not fully determined by the attributes of fixated objects, but similarly depends on other items in the context. The emerging view is that visual selection of objects and their recognition are to a large part determined by the same underlying factors.
A/Prof Stefanie Becker took up a position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland in 2007, after having completed her PhD at The University of Bielefeld. Since then she has won a series of prestigious research fellowships, including an ARC funded DECRA and a Future Fellowship. She was awarded the APS (Australian Psychological Society) Early Career Researcher Award in 2011 and the Foundation Research Excellence Award, from The University of Queensland in 2014. Her research focuses on the properties of selective visual attention and the control of eye movements.