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CCN Brown Bag Series

Wednesday, March 27, 2019,

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  • Location: Wilson Hall • 111 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37240
  • Room: 115

Zijiang He, PhD

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

University of Louisville

"Perceptual and cognitive mechanisms of space perception"

Space perception embodies our visual awareness and guides our perception of objects and actions in the 3-D environment. Yet, how our brain constructs the perceptual space is still an
unresolved, but fundamental question, in Psychology and Neuroscience. The ecological approach pioneered by J. J. Gibson posits that our perception is shaped by evolution, which
capitalizes on important aspects of our terrestrial environment. In particular, since the natural ground provides support for us and for most objects that we frequently interact with, our visual
system often uses the ground surface as a reference frame to localize an object. My laboratory has adopted the ecological approach to investigate the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms
underlying space perception. Our findings lead to the formulation of a theoretical framework that specifies the interplay of the mechanisms involved. These mechanisms include: (1) A
Sequential Surface Integration Process that constructs the ground surface representation based on the visual system’s intrinsic bias and external depth information; (2) An attention process that
selects depth information for ground surface representation; (3) A memory process that retains the ground reference frame for space perception; (4) A process that localizes an object on the
ground using trigonometry; (5) A stereoscopic process for space perception of an object above the ground surface. This presentation will describe the empirical evidence supporting the
theoretical framework of space perception.