Center for Research in Comptuer Vision
Center for Research in Comptuer Vision

Seminar Announcement

Vision, Brain, Computation and Attention: What You Really Need to Know

Dr. John Tsotsos of York University

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 · 1:00PM · HEC 101

The Selective Tuning model for vision and attention, under development since 1987, started life as a model of some aspects of visual attention in humans that might have utility in machine vision, especially as it applies to how algorithms deal with the combinatorics of visual processing. It has expanded over the years to include many elements of vision and visual cognition beyond attention, directly relevant to both theories of human perception as well as to machine vision. I will briefly describe the model and discuss its place within the large space of theories of vision as well as its relevance to computer vision. Selective Tuning was conceived through the application of the classic scientific method and the reasons why this approach remains as relevant as ever, even in this age of data-driven solutions, will be examined. I will also overview the new evidence we have recently discovered that supports critical predictions of the model. These findings point towards a very different conceptualization of visual processing than the current accepted wisdom. Specifically, they argue for vision as an active process, one that achieves its generalization to the enormous breadth of possible scenarios by dynamically selecting what to sense and tuning its architecture and processing for the task and input of the moment.

John Tsotsos is Distinguished Research Professor of Vision Science at York University. He received his doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Cardiology at Toronto General Hospital, he joined the University of Toronto on faculty in Computer Science and in Medicine. In 1980 he founded the Computer Vision Group at the University of Toronto, which he led for 20 years. He was recruited to York University in 2000 as Director of the Centre for Vision Research. He has been a Canadian Heart Foundation Research Scholar, Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Canada Research Chair in Computational Vision and is an IEEE Fellow. He received many awards and honours including several best paper awards, the 2006 Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society Award for Research Excellence and Service, the 1st President's Research Excellence Award by York University in 2009, and the 2011 Geoffrey J. Burton Memorial Lectureship from the United Kingdom's Applied Vision Association for significant contribution to vision science. He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2010 and was awarded its 2015 Sir John William Dawson Medal for sustained excellence in multidisciplinary research, the first computer scientist to be so honoured. His current research focuses on a comprehensive theory of visual attention in humans. A practical outlet for this theory embodies elements of the theory into the vision systems of mobile robots.