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The University of Southampton

Successful EPSRC proposal to study human vision

Published: 19 November 2012

A Psychology led proposal entitled 'Human Vision: Relationship to Three-Dimensional Surface Statistics of Natural Scenes' has been awarded £510k of EPSRC funding, and is due to start in January 2013.

The team of researchers is led by Dr Wendy Adams (Psychology) and includes Dr Erich Graf (Psychology), Dr Julian Leyland (Geography and Environment) and Dr James Elder (York, Canada). The research aims to establish how the human visual system exploits the statistical structure of the natural environment to estimate surface attitude and shape.

The human visual system has been fine-tuned over generations of evolution to operate effectively in our particular environment, allowing us to form rich 3D representations of the objects around us. The scenes that we encounter on a daily basis produce 2D retinal images that are complex and ambiguous. Key aims of the research is are to (i) catalogue the statistical structure of the environment, and (ii) evaluate how the human visual system incorporates knowledge of these statistics to optimise perception of our 3D surroundings.

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