When: January 26, 2016, 12:00 PM
Location: Researchers' Link, Discovery Building
Contact: 608-316-4483, firstname.lastname@example.org
Immersive perception: How virtual experiences can broaden our understanding of the mind
Our perceptual system has evolved to help us navigate a complex and dynamic natural environment. Yet most research in perception forgoes the richness of the natural world in favor of precise control over visual details. I will propose that by using immersive virtual environments it is possible both to have control over visual content and to provide the kind of richness that our visual system evolved to exploit. I will then discuss how manipulating immersive visual experiences using virtual reality opens the door to exciting new possibilities for understanding how perception supports and constrains other aspects of the mind, including attention, action, recognition, and memory. Because virtual reality is fundamentally about the nature and manipulation of human perception, I will also highlight aspects of my research that demonstrate how understanding perception can help shape the experiences of individuals in immersive environments.
Emily Ward | Bio
Emily’s core area of research is visual perception, with an emphasis on how perception interacts with other cognitive processes. She uses a combination of behavioral and functional neuroimaging methods to explore both the nature of conscious experience and the neural representations that underlie perception. At Yale, she works primarily with Marvin Chun in the Visual Cognition Neuroscience Laboratory and with Brian Scholl in the Perception and Cognition Laboratory. She was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Prior to coming to Yale, she studied spatial cognition with Russell Epstein at the University of Pennsylvania and received her B.A. from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.