Human Perception of Forms & Objects – 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Perception entails prediction of which objects are present in a scene rather than simply reception of optical information. For example, object perception often involves predicting three-dimensional shape and structure from geometrical information on a flat plane (consider line drawings). We can do this quite accurately without training. In addition, research shows that objects can be identified accurately when a subset of points on the contour are connected; the shape of the connecting contour can be changed from curved to straight without consequence. Finally, context exerts a strong influence on how objects and parts of objects are perceived. Together, these principles allow us to identify objects in many sizes and many guises.

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Date: 02/22/2018

Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Price: $10

Class availability limitations: None


Mary A. Peterson

Mary A. Peterson

Professor and Director, Cognitive Science Program
Professor, Psychology Department

Mary Peterson was born in New York and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees there. She was an inveterate New Yorker until the University of Arizona beckoned with its well-deserved reputation for interdisciplinary research. Mary moved to Tucson in 1988 as a faculty member in the Psychology Department and a Research Social Scientist in Cognitive Science. She is now the director of the Cognitive Science Program and the Chair of the Cognitive Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. She teaches courses in the Psychology Department and the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science major in the School of Mind, Brain and Behavior in the UA College of Science. Her love of art and interest in visual illusions led her to conduct research on visual perception, which has been the focus of her professional career. Mary loves gardening, especially growing herbs, and is a devoted member of the Tucson Botanical Gardens.