CogSci Colloquium Talk:
Searching for the elusive whole object using its parts

Dr. SP Arun

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Title: Searching for the elusive whole object using its parts
Date: Thursday, 31st March 2022
Time: 11:30 am (IST)
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A fundamental question in object vision is whether we can understand the whole object in terms of its parts, features or properties. While this enterprise seems plausible at least when we consider objects like a car or person, there are many objects that seem to transcend their parts. Some objects like circles and squares don’t seem to have identifiable parts, while other objects have properties like symmetry that is not contained in either part alone. Finally, we have the experience of instantly recognizing visual words, suggesting that we recognize whole words at once rather than by reading individual letters. So can we explain whole objects using their parts or not? I will describe our recent work in which we have related whole object representations to their parts using quantitative models, and which challenge widely held intuitions about holistic processing.

About the Speaker
SP Arun received his B.Tech from IIT Bombay, and MS & PhD from Johns Hopkins University, all in Electrical Engineering. He completed his postdoctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University and joined the Centre for Neuroscience at IISc where he is currently a Professor and also an Associate Faculty of the Electrical Communication Engineering department. His research interests are in understanding visual perception and object recognition using behavioural and brain imaging experiments in humans, and using neural recordings from the monkey visual cortex.