Vaegan Seminar: Fantastic object surfaces and how we perceive them: visual material and texture perception in the human brain

Material and texture perception in the human brain


1:00pm to 2:00pm Friday 28 February 2020


Rupert Myers Theatre, University of New South Wales, Kensington NSW 2052 (Nearest Gate 14)

UNSW School:

School of Optometry and Vision Science

Event Description:

The perception of surface properties is crucial in our daily life as it affects how we identify and interact with objects in the environment and refine movement planning. Imagine you are walking on a freezing winter night -- if you misjudge an icy surface as dry and rough, you could fall and injure yourself. Surface properties also carry important information about the status of objects, e.g. the freshness of fruits and whether steak is raw or well done. This talk will discuss a series of research investigating the neural basis of two fundamental surface properties -- object material and texture. Our fMRI studies identify a circuitry of mid-level visual areas in estimating surface gloss. For texture processing, our psychophysical results suggest the presence of multiple channels selective for texture density in human vision, with lateral inhibitory interactions between them.

Speaker Biography:

Dr Hua-Chun Sun is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at UNSW Psychology. Prior to this she did a postdoc at McGill University in Canada (2015-2018) and a PhD at University of Birmingham in the UK (2011-2015). Her research spans perceptual psychology, vision science and visual neuroscience, with a focus on mid-level vision. She uses psychophysics and neuroimaging (fMRI) to understand the perception of surface properties in the human visual system. She is currently leading a project examining the perceptual difference of surface gloss in the upper and lower regions of the visual field.