About the Speaker
Jukka Hyönä received his PhD degree in psychology in 1993 from the University of Turku (Finland), where he now serves as a professor of psychology and as the Head of the Psychology division.
His main research focus is on the use of the eye-tracking method to study various visually based cognitive tasks, including, reading and text comprehension, multiple object tracking, attentional capture and recognition of peripherally presented stimuli. The emphasis is on capturing how processing of visual stimuli evolves over time. To date, his most significant scientific contributions have been made to the study of how the eyes (and visual attention) are guided through a written text. In that domain, his studies tap into different levels of written language comprehension – from word recognition via sentence parsing to comprehension of long expository texts. He has also applied the method to study attentional processes and eye guidance during reading. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Memory and Language, Psychological Science, and Cognitive Psychology. He has published about 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
Together with Johanna Kaakinen, he has been one of the first to apply the eye-tracking method to investigate the processing of long expository texts as well as learning from authentic illustrated textbooks (in collaboration with Matti Hannus). Together with Manuel Calvo and Lauri Nummenmaa, he has successfully applied the method to examine whether peripherally presented emotional scenes capture the visual attention. Moreover, Oksama and Hyönä put forth a mathematically formulated model (MOMIT) of multiple identity tracking. At the moment, they are testing the seriality assumption of the model with eye movement registrations.
Laurent Itti received his M.S. degree in Image Processing from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications (Paris, France) in 1994, and his Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from Caltech (Pasadena, California) in 2000. He has since then been an Assistant, Associate, and now Full Professor of Computer Science, Psychology, and Neuroscience at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Itti's research interests are in biologically-inspired computational vision, in particular in the domains of visual attention, scene understanding, control of eye movements, and surprise. This basic research has technological applications to, among others, video compression, target detection, and robotics. Dr. Itti has co-authored over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals, books and conferences, three patents, and several open-source neuromorphic vision software toolkits.
Peter König studied physics and medicine in Bonn and obtained a doctorate of medicine in 1990 from the University of Würzburg, Germany. After a three-year post-doc time in the lab of Wolf Singer at the MPI for brain research in Frankfurt, Dr. König worked as a senior research fellow at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California. Later, he moved to Switzerland to work at the ETH Zürich before he became head of the Neurobiopsychology research group at the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück (Germany) in 2003. Since 2005, Dr. König is also head of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrück.
In his research, Dr. König aims to investigate the neurophysiological basis of cognitive functions. He uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study sensory processing and sensory motor integration in the mammalian cortex under natural conditions. Emphasis is placed on the role of top-down signals, their relation to the fast dynamics, learning and plasticity in the neuronal network. Insights obtained from this work are transferred to real-world applications.
Dr. Moore’s laboratory at Stanford studies the primate visual system and how visual processing is integrated with executive control signals within prefrontal cortex, using the macaque monkey as a model species. His laboratory attempts to identify the neural circuits and neural computations necessary and sufficient to carry out fundamental perceptual and cognitive functions. Early on in his time at Stanford, his lab discovered that selective attention, a fundamental cognitive function, could be causally linked to the neural mechanisms controlling gaze.
Professor Moore received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1995, where he did his thesis work on the phenomenon of blindsight in monkeys with Charlie Gross. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at M.I.T. in the laboratory of Peter Schiller, where he studied the modulation of visual cortical signals during eye movements. He then moved back to Princeton as a research scientist where he began studying the neural mechanisms controlling visual selective attention. In 2003, he started his own laboratory at Stanford, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Professor Moore’s work is focused on identifying the neural circuits controlling visual perception and cognition, particularly visual attention. Professor Moore has been a Sloan fellow, a Pew Scholar, a McKnight Scholar, and was an Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2009, he received a Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences for his work on visual attention.
John K. Tsotsos is Distinguished Research Professor of Vision Science at York University. He is Director of the Centre for Innovation in Computing at Lassonde, Canada Research Chair in Computational Vision, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
He received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. He did a postdoctoral fellowship in Cardiology at Toronto General Hospital and then joined the University of Toronto on faculty in both Computer Science and in Medicine, where he stayed for 20 years, 10 of which were as a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He then moved to York University serving as Director of the Centre for Vision Research for 7 years. Visiting positions were held at the University of Hamburg, Polytechnical University of Crete, Center for Advanced Studies at IBM Canada, INRIA Sophia-Antipolis, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He has published in computer science, neuroscience, psychology, robotics and bio-medicine. Current research has a main focus in developing a comprehensive theory of visual attention in humans. A practical outlet for this theory forms a second focus, embodying elements of the theory into the vision systems of mobile robots.
Françoise Vitu studied Psychology at the University René Descartes in Paris, France, where she received her PhD in 1990, after working with J. Kevin O'Regan. She then went to the US for a post-doc with George W. McConkie at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Albrecht Inhoff at the State University of New York at Binghamton. During the fall 1992, after another post-doc with Gery d'Ydewalle at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, she was appointed as permanent researcher at the CNRS in Paris. In 1997, she was a NATO visiting researcher at the Beckman Institute (UIUC), and during the fall 2005, she was appointed as guest professor at the University of Potsdam, Germany. In 2004, she moved to Marseille, where she now is Director of Research (CNRS), and she heads with Eric Castet, the Perception and Attention group of the Laboratory of Cognitive Psychology at Aix-Marseille University.
Françoise Vitu's early work focused on eye-movement control during reading, and aimed at determining the respective contributions of visuo-motor, linguistic, and attentional processes. It allowed her to estimate the spatial and temporal constraints associated with language-related influences, but also to isolate and characterize several oculomotor patterns that appear to be relatively universal. Being convinced that eye movements during reading and other perceptual tasks are primarily controlled by fundamental, visuo-motor principles, she recently extended her approach to object and natural-scene viewing, while also developing a new line of research that aims at linking the properties of saccades to the underlying neurophysiology of oculomotor and visual systems.
Robin Walker graduated from The University of Newcastle upon Tyne and went on to study for a PhD at the University of Durham (UK) under the supervision of John M Findlay and Andy Young. After a post-doc spent at Durham he went on to a work with Chris Kennard in London. He then joined the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London in 1997 where he is now a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience.
His earlier work involved studies of oculomotor distractor effects in normal populations and in people with cortical brain damage along with interests in visual field defects (hemianopia and macular disease). His recent work includes projects examining the oculomotor functions of the human superior colliculus using functional brain imaging techniques (fMRI). Current projects also include studies of reading dynamic scrolling text in people with a loss of central vision as well as in non-visually impaired individuals. This work has led to the development of an iPad app as a reading aid for people with macular disease.