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Monday 09 Jun 2014AG Dynamics seminar: Network Models of Visual Illusions and Rivalry

Prof Ian Stewart - University of Warwick

Harrison 209 16:00-17:00

In binocular rivalry, conflicting images are presented to the two eyes, and the visual system interprets this combination in sometimes surprising ways. Visual illusions involve ambiguous or incomplete information, presented simultaneously to both eyes. Well-known illusions include the Necker cube, the rabbit/duck illusion, the cartoonist William Ely Hill's 'my wife and my mother-in-law', and the spinning dancer, in which a moving image of a dancer appears to spin in either the clockwise or anticlockwise direction.

In 2009 Hugh Wilson proposed a neural network model for high-level decision-making in the brain, based on the phenomenon of binocular rivalry. Diekman, Golubitksy and Wang observed that Wilson networks are useful for understanding rivalry itself. The talk describes ongoing work with Golubitsky and Diekman in which we generalise Wilson networks, and model illusions as well as rivalry. The model corresponds well to several experiments in the literature, and in some cases leads to new predictions.

(This lecture will be delivered by videolink)

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