Optical illusions neither “trick the eye” nor “fool the brain”.

SEMINAR – Optical illusions neither “trick the eye” nor “fool the brain”.

Date: Wednesday 18th March 2015

Time: 4.30-5.30pm, followed by a drinks reception

Venue: Doctoral School PR MB2021

Speaker: Prof Michael Bach, Head of Section of Visual Function, Electrophysiology Eye Centre, University of Freiburg, Germany.

Vision seems so effortless, yet perception of images, objects, colour and motion involves complicated, ill-understood processes. We usually assume that what we see is pretty much what your eyes see and transmits to the brain. Our visual system continuously “invents” an inner world as a basis for understanding and planning, on incomplete information. This rests on experience, both evolutionary and individually, more formally this is the Bayesian interpretation of perception. When experience does not fit the current situation, ensuing missteps of our perceptual apparatus are called “optical illusions” and can reveal some of these inner mechanisms. The talk will present interactive demonstration of these processes, organised along the visual dimension luminance, colour, motion, space, gestalt.

Michael Bach studied physics, computer science and psychology. In his PhD thesis he recorded single and multiple units in non-human primate visual cortex and then went on to ophthalmology to run the electrophysiology clinic. He combines clinical electrophysiology in ophthalmological diseases with a wide gamut of research in human vision. He was president of the International Society of Clinical Electrophysiology in Vision (ISCEV) for the maximum of 8 years and currently is Director of International Communications for ISCEV. He has received the Aulhorn award and the Tom Troscianko award (for the most outrageous presentation). His research uses mainly psychophysical and electrophysiological methodology and ranges from visual acuity, contrast vision, colour vision, motion perception, and gestalt perception to visual phenomena. He has received 23 research grants, overseen 57 student theses and published 240

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