VS298: Visual Perception and its Neural Substrates

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Psychophysical studies have taught us much about the nature of visual perception, suggesting the existence of certain neural mechanisms and representations. On the other hand, neuroscience has taught us much about neural coding properties and about the signal transformations occurring at various stages of the system. And yet there are surprisingly few findings that link these branches of investigation. The goal of this seminar is to examine the literature from both sides, with an eye towards bridging the gap. The work of physiologists (e.g., Victor Lamme and Rüdiger von der Heydt) and psychophysicists (e.g., Ken Nakayama and Patrick Cavanaugh) will be studied in depth.

The seminar will meet weekly. Coursework will consist of presenting analyses of readings in class and/or participation in a collaborative computational modeling project to simulate the neural phenomena we will be studying.

Instructor: Karl Zipser

Enrollment information: VS 298 (section 4), 2 units
CCN: 66493

Meeting time and place: Friday 4-6, 560 Evans (Redwood Center conference room)


Email list:

  • Seminar mailing list vs298_unsolved_problems_in_vision@lists.berkeley.edu subscribe

Weekly schedule:

Date Topic/Reading
Jan. 23 Introduction

Additional Materials

  • recent special issue of CurrOpinNeuro journal
  • Olshausen BA Olshausen (2013) Perception as an Inference Problem. pdf
  • Olshausen BA (2012) 20 years of learning about vision: Questions answered, questions unanswered, and questions not yet asked. In: 20 Years of Computational Neuroscience (Symposium of the CNS 2010 annual meeting) pdf
  • Kitaoka, A (2014) Color-dependent motion illusions in stationary images and their phenomenal dimorphism. Perception advance online publication pdf
  • O'Regan, J. K., & Noë, A. (2001). A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and brain sciences, 24(05), 939-973.pdf
  • Bruno Olshausen lecture (1 July 2014) 20 Years of Learning About Vision: Questions Answered, Questions Unanswered, and Questions Not Yet Asked video
  • Solari, S. V. H., & Stoner, R. (2011). Cognitive consilience: primate non-primary neuroanatomical circuits underlying cognition. Frontiers in neuroanatomy, 5. pdf
  • Dyson, Freeman. The Case for Blunders. The New York Review of Books, 6 March 2014. pdf
  • Machine-Learning Maestro Michael Jordan on the Delusions of Big Data and Other Huge Engineering Efforts, 20 Oct 2014, Lee Gomes, IEEE Specturm link
  • Yann LeCunn responds to Mike Jordan's Spectrum interview link
  • Kravitz, D. J., Saleem, K. S., Baker, C. I., Ungerleider, L. G., & Mishkin, M. (2013). The ventral visual pathway: an expanded neural framework for the processing of object quality. Trends in cognitive sciences, 17(1), 26-49. pdf
  • Vinyals, O. et al. Show and Tell: A Neural Image Caption Generator. 2014 arXiv.1411.4555v1 pdf
  • Koch, C., & Tononi, G. (2011). A test for consciousness. Scientific American, 304(6), 44-47. [pdf https://www.dropbox.com/s/h2bo3swrjr1g1l1/A_Test_for_Consciousness.pdf?dl=0]