Helmholtz Institute


4 November 2022
16:00 - 17:00
Ruppert Rood, Leuvenlaan 21, 3584 CE Utrecht

Helmholtz lecture Marius Peelen, November 4: Interactions between objects and scenes in visual perception

Helmholtz lecture Dr. Marius Peelen (Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen):

Title: Interactions between objects and scenes in visual perception

Abstract: Real-world visual input often consists of rich scenes that are meaningfully composed of multiple objects that interact in complex ways (e.g., by partially occluding each other). Despite this complexity, we recognize scenes, and many details within these scenes, from a brief glance at an image. In this talk, I will present recent behavioral and neural findings that elucidate the mechanisms underlying this impressive ability. I will show that the analysis of object and scene information is partly implemented in parallel, allowing for a rapid initial gist of both objects and scenes concurrently. While it is well recognized that the initial scene ‘gist’ can modulate the recognition of contextually congruent objects, the reverse influence – from objects to scenes – is also strongly present. Behavioral and neuroimaging studies have shown that objects can facilitate, distort, and disambiguate scene processing. These findings support the notion that there are strong bidirectional interactions between scene and object processing. Finally, I will present evidence that objects also combine and interact with each other to support scene understanding, blurring the classical dichotomy between scene and object processing. These findings can be understood by conceptualizing scene understanding as the outcome of hierarchical probabilistic inference, in which “best guesses” at each level act as priors for other levels, constraining the interpretation of the current evidence. 

Location: Ruppert Rood, Leuvenlaan 21, 3584 CE Utrecht

Helmholtz Lectures take place from 4 to 5pm, with drinks afterwards in the pantry of the Langeveld building. Lectures are hybrid and streamed live via Teams.

Helmholtz agenda: https://helmholtzschool.nl/category/agenda/

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