My research interests lie in understanding human perception and the perceptual processes involved in decision-making. In particular, I am interested in 3D vision, multisensory perception and action-planning.I completed my first degree in Psychology at the University of Glasgow in 2000, before obtaining an MPhil from the University of Newcastle in 2002 and a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2005. I have held post-doctoral positions at Glasgow Caledonian University, investigating the perception of second-order motion, and the University of St Andrews, working on statistical approaches to depth perception and stereoscopic vision. From 2006 until 2011 I held an RCUK Academic Fellowship here in Stirling, where my research concentrated on cyclopean surface perception.I am always happy to talk to prospective students. If you are interested in working in my lab, or wish to apply for postgraduate study under my supervision please get in touch.
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 FormThe 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.Perceptual Decision-MakingThe 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.
Murray L, Hands P, Goutcher R & Ye J (2016) Capturing social cues with imaging glasses. In: UbiComp 2016 Adjunct - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. UbiComp2016: 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing, Heidelberg, Germany, 12.09.2016-16.09.2016. New York: ACM, pp. 968-972. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2968260; https://doi.org/10.1145/2968219.2968260
Hibbard P, Goutcher R & Hunter D (2016) Encoding and estimation of first- and second-order binocular disparity in natural images. Vision Research, 120, pp. 108-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2015.10.016
Watt R & Goutcher R (2009) "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end ... ". Commentary on: Pollard S B, Mayhew J E W, Frisby J P, 1985 "PMF: A stereo correspondence algorithm using a disparity gradient limit", Perception, 14.4, pp.449-470. Perception, 38 (6), pp. 889-891. https://doi.org/10.1068/pmkpol
Quinn S, Goutcher R & Watt R (2007) The perception of temporal regularity is disrupted by interleaved irregularity. Perception, 36 (ECVP Abstract Supplement), pp. 112-112. http://www.perceptionweb.com/abstract.cgi?id=v070657