The apparent ease of sensory perception belies the computational complexity of the problem with which our brains are presented: how do you turn the light falling on the surface of the retina into the meaningful world that appears before us? How do we then link together this representation of the world with the process of selecting from the multitude of possible actions available to us? My research focuses on addressing these questions by examining the ways in which the human visual system represents 3D structure, and by investigating the perception of statistical properties of the environment and their use in decision-making.
Perception of Cyclopean Form
The visual system is highly sensitive to the small differences that arise between the images on our two eyes due to their differing vantage points on the world. These differences, known as binocular disparities, provide us with information about the 3D structure of our environment. My research examines the problems facing the visual system in the measurement of these binocular disparities, and their use in providing us with functional descriptions of the 3D shape and structure of the world.
The visual system is constantly confronted with noisy and ambiguous information. The world too is noisy and uncertain: it is prone to change and full of unpredictable occurrences. The uncertainty of perceptual information and the uncertainty of our environments make our everyday interactions with the world conceptually difficult. My research focuses on understanding how the visual system takes into account these uncertainties and ambiguities when making decisions about potential actions, and examines how our perception of the world is shaped by our understanding of the statistical properties of the environment.