CVS 50th Anniversary

The Center for Visual Science turns 50 this year! In recognition of this milestone, we will be hosting a CVS 50th Anniversary Celebration that will be held October 18-20, 2013, in Rochester, NY.

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Schedule of Events

Friday, October 18, 2013

  • 7-9pm: Welcome Reception @ Flaum Eye Institute
    (Lab tours will be available during this time)

Saturday, October 19, 2013 (Talks To Be Held in Goergen 101)

  • 8:00-8:30am: Set Up Posters in Goergen Hall Atrium
  • 8:30-9:00am: Breakfast & Poster Viewing @ Goergen Hall Atrium
  • 9:00-9:15am: Welcome/David Williams
  • 9:15-10:00am: Austin Roorda - Overcoming the optical limits of the human eye: the Rochester legacy
    • Visual performance is enabled, but also limited, by a cascade of events from the formation of the retinal image by the optics, to the continuous sampling and early stage processing of that image by the retina and the ultimate processing of the retinal signals by the brain, leading to perception and other visually-guided behavior. Researchers at the Center for Visual Science have a 50-year legacy of innovation in their effort to understand these stages of human vision. My primary focus on this talk will be to review efforts to understand and overcome the optical limits, and then to present some of the fruits of those efforts. In particular, I will focus on events of the past 20 years, where the measurement and correction of wave aberrations in the eye have had a major impact for basic and clinical vision science and society in general.
  • 10:00-10:45am: Krystel Huxlin - The Eye’s the limit – advances in refractive correction
    • By developing a relatively easy and reliable way of measuring wavefront aberrations in human and animal eyes, researchers in CVS have played an important role in changing the way we think about refractive correction. Perhaps the eye does not have to be the limit…on vision! This talk will review how CVS built on local and outside expertise with wavefront sensing, ocular biology and visual neuroscience, to significantly advance our approach to optical correction in the clinic, our understanding of possible causes for different ocular aberrations, and the impact that these different aberrations have on vision (surprisingly, they are not always bad!). Finally, I will present some recent data from our laboratory, demonstrating feasibility of a completely new concept in refractive correction, which if successful, may alter our clinical approach to this problem, along with our fundamental understanding of corneal biology. I will end with some speculation of what awaits us in the next decades in terms of vision correction, summarizing both challenges, opportunities and the unique role CVS may continue to play in correcting and improving vision.
  • 10:45-11:15am: AM BREAK
  • 11:15am-12pm: Daphne Bavelier - Action video games as exemplary learning tools
    • From chatting on the internet to playing video games, technology has invaded all aspects of our lives. For better or for worse, it is changing who we are. But can we harness technology to effect changes for the better? In the midst of reported negative effects, recent studies show that this might indeed be the case. In a surprising twist, an often-decried activity such as playing action video games enhances various sensory, attentional and cognitive skills. A training regimen whose benefits are so broad is unprecedented and provides a unique opportunity to identify factors that underlie generalization of learning and principles of brain plasticity. A set of common mechanisms are hypothesized to be at the source of this wide range of skill improvement. In particular, performance improvement following action video game play may be mediated through greater attentional control, better statistic inference in neural networks and in turn an enhanced ability at learning to learn. Practical applications from education to health will be discussed.
  • 12:00-12:45pm: David Brainard - Color Vision and the Natural Image
    • In this talk, I will provide a selective review of progress made in color vision over the past ~50 years. I will try to compare, contrast, and integrate three related themes from the literature. The first emphasizes the idea that as we generalize from what was learned from classic experiments conducted with spots on spatially uniform backgrounds towards an understanding of performance of how color vision operates in natural viewing, a productive approach is to test whether a similar set of principles (e.g., cone class specific adaptation) will explains performance. The second theme, in contrast, suggests that to understand color vision for natural viewing, we must seek principles that differ qualitatively from those that are revealed by experiments conducted with spatially simple stimuli. This theme was sounded, for example, in Land's 1959 paper whose title matches that of this talk. A third theme, which cuts across the other two, is that a useful way to seek explanatory principles is to consider how the action of color vision mechanisms is tailored to the statistical structure of natural scenes.
  • 12:45-2:45pm: LUNCH & POSTER VIEWING
  • 2:45-3:30pm: Greg DeAngelis - Multisensory integration: from neurons to behavior
    • In many natural contexts, our visual capabilities are augmented by input from other sensory modalities, such as that from the auditory, somatosensory, and vestibular systems. The past couple of decades have seen an explosion of progress in our understanding of how signals from multiple sensory systems are combined, both at the level of behavior and in neurons. Theoretical work has established predictions for optimal cue integration, and numerous psychophysical studies have demonstrated that human behavior often approaches these optimal predictions. Research in CVS has made major contributions in these areas. In parallel, a substantial body of experimental work has examined how neurons respond to combinations of inputs from two sensory modalities. Until recently, however, we understood relatively little about how multisensory integration at the level of single neurons was related to optimal cue integration at the level of behavior. I will discuss theoretical work (from CVS) that opened the door to this line of inquiry, as well as recent work from my laboratory that has attempted to bridge the gap from neurons to behavior in our understanding of multisensory integration.
  • 3:30-4:15pm: John Assad - More than meets the eye
    • Vision has traditionally – and quite reasonably -- been studied from the vantage point of the visual stimulus. Most experiments have been geared to ask how the brain responds to visual stimuli as a function of the parameters of the visual stimuli themselves. However, it has long been appreciated that the “internal state” of the observer also plays a critical role in visual perception: our expectations, immediate goals and interests powerfully constrain the way that we perceive the visual world. Moreover, the brain is not a blank slate awaiting visual input, but rather has its own complex, ongoing dynamics that condition the way that incoming stimuli are processed. In my talk, I will broadly survey the effects of internal state on visual perception, as exemplified by processes such as attention, decision, prediction and subjective perception, focusing on single unit neurophysiological studies. I will offer evidence that the effects of internal state become more predominant as one ascends the visual hierarchy. I will suggest that understanding how internal state guides and constrains perception is the next big horizon in visual neuroscience, central to conceptually linking vision to behavior.
  • 4:15-4:45pm: PM BREAK
  • 4:45-5:30pm: Larry Snyder - Give the eyes a hand
    • One of the most important things that we use vision for is to guide action. Introspection tells us that reaching for something we see is effortless, but in fact a considerable amount of processing goes into visual guidance of movement. Since the Center's 25th anniversary and perhaps earlier, Center members have asked about how the eyes and hands interact to facilitate skilled behavior. I will discuss why eye-hand coordination is such a good model system for thinking about brain function in general, describe some of the early work on these issues, and then move on to current research asking how the eyes and hands are coordinated together.
  • 5:30-6:15pm: Dana Ballard - Vision in human natural behaviors
    • The understanding of human vision has undergone huge development during the Center for Vision Science’s fifty years of operation. One of the most dramatic changes has been in the specialty of computer modeling, which has seen enormous improvements in technological instrumentation as well as theoretical developments. In these areas, research emphasis has steadily progressed from the early processing of the image towards the inclusion and understanding of the essential role of cognition in natural visually oriented behaviors. On this anniversary occasion, we will trace some of the history of these advances, emphasizing CVS’s role as a leading research institution.
  • 6:30pm: Cocktail Hour at Colgate Divinity School
  • 7:00pm: Dinner Banquet at Colgate Divinity School

Sunday, October 20, 2013

  • 10am-12pm: Brunch at the home of David Williams