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Academic report: The Human Visual Field: Pre-Semantic Processing as Functional Background for Cognitive Mechanisms
Update time: 2014/03/17
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Speaker: Prof. Dr. Ernst Pöppel 
      University of Munich, Germany
Time:    13:30pm - 15:00pm
Date:   Mar 20 (Thu), 2014
Venue:  Meeting Room, Level 5, South Building

A lot of research in psychology is done using visual stimuli presented in the visual field. But do we have already a sufficient understanding of the visual field itself? Is the visual field just the entrance door for cognitive processing on a higher level, or do we have to take some features into account that go beyond the concept of a passive surface for sensory processing? In my talk I will describe some psychophysical observations that allow the formulation of testable hypotheses on the neuronal level. This approach also proves the richness of psychological research, conceptually integrating levels of processing from single cells to behavioral responses. As examples the following perceptual phenomena will be presented and their importance for higher level processing will be indicated: Constancy of brightness throughout the visual field and its importance for spatial orientation; color induction at the retinal level, and its implication for color constancy; size constancy as based on a pre-semantic coordinate transformation at the cortical level; non-homogeneity of the visual field with respect to attentional control. Furthermore, some neuroanatomical issues will be raised with respect to retinotopic representation of the visual field and its functional plasticity.

   The Human Visual Field: Pre-Semantic Processing as Functional Background for Cognitive Mechanisms(.pdf)

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