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Jacqueline M. Fulvio, Paul R. Schrater; Symposium Summary. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):22. doi: 10.1167/11.11.22.
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In a world constantly in flux, we are faced with uncertainty about the future and must make predictions about what lies ahead. However, research on visual processing is dominated by understanding information processing rather than future prediction – it lives in the present (and sometimes the past) without considering what lies ahead.
Yet prediction is commonplace in natural vision. In walking across a busy street in New York City, for example, successful prediction means both the life or death of the pedestrian and the employment status of the cab driver.
In fact, prediction plays an important role in almost all aspects of vision with a dynamic component, including object interception, eye-movement planning, visually-guided reaching, visual search, and rapid decision-making under risk, and is implicit in “top-down” processing in the interpretation of static images (e.g. object recognition, shape from shading, etc.). Prediction entails combining current sensory information with an internal model (“beliefs”) of the world to fill informational gaps and derive estimates of the world's future “hidden” state. Naturally, the success of the prediction is limited by the quality of the information and the internal model. This has been demonstrated by a variety of behaviors described above.
The symposium will focus on the importance of analyzing the predictive components of human behavior to understand visual processing in the brain. The prevalence of prediction suggests there may be a commonality in both computational and neural structures supporting it. We believe that many problems in vision can be profitably recast in terms of models of prediction, providing new theoretical insights and potential transfer of knowledge.
Speakers representing a variety of research areas will lead a discussion under the umbrella of prediction that (i) identifies characteristics and limitations of predictive behavior; (ii) re-frames outstanding questions in terms of predictive modeling; & (iii) outlines experimental manipulations of predictive task components for future work. The symposium is expected to spark interest among all areas represented at the conference with the goal of group discovery of a common set of predictive principles used by the brain as the discussion unfolds.
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