Cognitive Science Graduate Students Present Work

Cognitive Science Graduate Students Present Work

Ryan Hope:

Abstract: Scientists have been studying the control of eye movements in various task domains (ex. reading, visual search and scene viewing) for decades. Within each of these domains we have learned much about the ``eye-mind'' link: what attracts the eye as well as the cognitive processes involved in both moving the eye from place to place and the processing of visual information. Disappointingly there has been little integration of learned knowledge between these different task domains. Models of the control of eye movements in reading have evolved, for the most part, independent from those in visual search and scene viewing. Additionally, progress in understanding the eye-mind link in reading has progressed at a much faster rate than in other visual-cognitive tasks. This is in part due to fact that the task demands of reading are much more constrained than in tasks like scene viewing and visual search. It is not clear whether these models are just formal descriptions of the eye-mind link with the unstated assumption that tasks like reading, scene viewing and visual search are all highly specialized with nothing in common with each other or if each of those tasks use the same basic processes. This talk argues for the latter and proposes a novel unified model of saccade generation.


Melissa Parade:

Abstract: When travelling over flat, obstacle-free terrain, humans walk with a preferred gait cycle that is successful, stable, and energetically efficient on the basis of passive dynamics. However, natural environments include foot targets and obstacles that require active adjustments to foot placement and foot trajectories in order to avoid trips, slips, and falls. In the first half of this talk, I will review what is known about how humans use visual information to control adaptive locomotion over such rough terrain; previous work has been successful in describing control strategies for flat obstacles and foot targets that require alternative foot placement. In the second half of this talk, I will describe a series of experiments designed to understand how visual information is further used when crossing over obstacles that have three-dimensional extent; such obstacles require not only alternative foot placement, but also adjustments to the trajectory of each foot while in swing over the obstacle. Findings from the proposed research may help to more fully account for adaptive locomotion over three-dimensional terrain that is characteristic of natural environments.