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The computational neuroscience of social vision: perceiving human actions and interactions

When: Thursday, January 11, 2018
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: Swift Hall, Room 107, 2029 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Public

Contact: Tomeka Bolar   847.491.4994

Group: Department of Psychology

Category: Academic


Leyla Isik
MIT, The Center for Brains, Minds & Machines

“The computational neuroscience of social vision: perceiving human actions and interactions”

Thursday, January 11, 2018
4:00 pm, Swift Hall 107

Reception to follow




Humans perceive the world in rich social detail. In just a fraction of a second, we not only detect objects and people in our environment, but also quickly grasp what people are doing, with whom, and why. In this talk, I will present research using neuroimaging (MEG, fMRI, and ECoG) and convolutional neural network models (CNNs) to characterize the computational processing stages of social vision. I will first describe earlier work developing and applying these methods to the case of invariant object recognition, then extend these methods to social perception, namely recognizing the actions (e.g., running or jumping) and social interactions (e.g. helping versus hindering) of others. These findings show that humans quickly form representations of actions that are invariant to viewpoint, and that CNNs provide a good model of these neural representations. Finally, I will discuss new results that uncover a neural correlate social interaction perception in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), as well as ongoing work bridging high spatial and temporal resolution neuroimaging with CNNs to understand the neural computations underlying this ability.

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