seminar series proposal details


We are a group of vision researchers, based in Universities to the West and South West of London.


Vision Research is a field in which UK psychologists are making major internationally recognised contributions, and which has shown steady progress and growth over recent decades.

At the present time vision research is rapidly changing. Within our own departments, vision research is extending into new areas, such as the application of psychophysical techniques to the analysis of visual attention and visual memory, to higher-order motion, and to neurological problems. Some members of our group have begun to use new technologies such as brain imaging. In order to keep abreast of this innovative research, it is essential to meet regularly for discussion with the key researchers from the UK and from abroad. It is proposed therefore to run a series of 8 seminars from invited speakers who have made significant innovations in vision research. In this way we hope to improve our own knowledge and that of our research students and research fellows, to contribute to the work of others by providing an opportunity for detailed commentary and criticism amongst specialists, and finally to provide a one-day event where we can present and review recent work within our own departments.

Direct communication with outside researchers is essential, particularly for postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers who have not yet had time to establish a network of contacts. However, it is not reasonable to expect our home departments to run sufficient vision research seminars to fulfil this aim. We all work in Departments of Psychology or Human Sciences, which need to support other research in areas very different from ours, and so offer no scope for increasing the number of vision research seminars given by external speakers. This is why we have joined together to organise joint seminars.

Intended themes for the 1997/98 seminars are :

  • a) "Higher-order aspects of motion perception" which will address the question of how complex "non-Fourier" motions are analysed, and how the outputs from simple directional mechanisms are combined.

  • b) Functional organisation of cortical visual areas, including neurophysiological and brain imaging studies.


    Vision research is flourishing in all 4 departments, with a substantial number of tenured staff, postgraduate students, and research assistants or research fellows working in the field (see appendix). These would form the core audience for the seminar. Because vision research is technically demanding and specialised such external talks provide a vital component of the training which we can provide for graduate students and junior post-doctoral assistants.


    We see the goals of the seminar series as:

  • 1. Helping to boost the research training which we can give to more junior researchers, by increasing their scientific interactions with each other and with visiting experts.

  • 2. By focussing attention on 'state-of-the-art' research questions, helping to crystallise potential joint research proposals, in some cases in collaboration with speakers from elsewhere in Europe.

  • 3. To disseminate knowledge: a "Foursites" web site will be set up, and abstracts from the seminars and one day conference will be published on the Internet. In this way, "Foursites" will provide a route for the early dissemination of research findings to the world-wide Vision community, and it is expected that these preliminary communications will be written up in due course as full research papers to be published in established journals.

  • 4. The seminars will provide an open forum for the exchange of scientific knowledge, debate and argument on technical issues within the field for the participants.

  • 5. We anticipate that we shall be able to attract speakers of sufficient eminence to attract a wider audience than the participants listed in the appendix, thus providing a regular meeting point for vision researchers in London and the S.E.

    Appendix: Core Participants in "Foursites" seminar.



    Dr. L. Murray, Prof. M. Wright.


    Dr. T. Riddell, Dr. J. Wann, Dr. J. Harris, Dr. A. Lee, Dr. D. Swapp.

    Royal Holloway:

    Dr. S. Anderson, Dr. K. Singh, N. Scott-Samuel, Prof. A. Smith.


    Dr. M. Bradshaw, Dr. D. Rose, J. Pretlove, Dr. B. DeBruyn, Dr. P. Sowden, IRL Davies, Dr. P. Simpson, Dr. G. Law. Dr. J. Huber, Prof. B. Rogers.



    T. Walpole, P. Roden, N. Middleton, J.Munford, R.Nemeth.


    M.Smyth, T.Langaas, M.Georgiades, G.Waddington, T.Allen.

    Royal Holloway:

    S. Cockle, A. Willis.


    A. Parton, J.Graham, P.Rolands, S.Boyles, S.Adamson, E. Ogyzen, P. Kearton.

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