Psychology Seminar Series: Perception with new sensory signals

Professor Marko Nardini from Durham University will present his talk on perception with new sensory signals

  • Tue 15 Oct 19

    16:00 - 18:00

  • Colchester Campus

    STEM 3.1

  • Event speaker

    Professor Marko Nardini

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Psychology Seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychology, Department of

  • Contact details

Prof Marko Nardini joins us from Durham University to give his talk entitled 'Perception with new sensory signals'

In this talk Professor Nardini will begin by describing recent research taking a new, model-based approach to perceptual development.

This approach uncovers fundamental changes in information processing underlying the protracted development of perception, action, and decision-making in childhood. For example, the operation of reliability-weighted averaging – widely used by adults to improve perception – is often not used until surprisingly late into childhood, as assessed by both behaviour and neural representations.

This approach forms the basis for a newer question: the scope for the nervous system to deploy useful computations (e.g. reliability-weighted averaging) to optimise perception and action using newly-learned sensory signals provided by technology. Our initial model system is augmenting visual depth perception with devices translating distance into auditory or vibro-tactile signals. This problem has immediate applications to people with partial vision loss, but the broader question concerns our scope to use technology to tune in to any signal not available to our native biological receptors.

Prof Nardini will describe initial progress on this problem, and our approach to operationalising what it might mean to adopt a new signal comparably to a native sense. This will include testing for its participation in reliability-weighted averaging alongside the native senses, assessing the level at which this averaging happens in the brain, and measuring the degree of ‘automaticity’ with which it is used, compared with native perception.


Professor Marko Nardini studies human perception and action using perceptual and visuomotor tasks, sometimes in immersive virtual reality.

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