Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Joint university collaboration boosts research into human vision

Researchers from the Psychology departments of Queen’s University Belfast, University College London and Saint Andrew’s University have made an important finding which will inform research aimed at the development of intelligent robots capable of seeing in a similar way to humans.

Motion-defined transparency is a common occurrence in the natural environment where multiple directions of motion occur in the same spatial region, for example when one sees fish in a fast flowing stream, and is a phenomenon that has invited much scientific discussion.

The research, a joint collaboration between Dr William Curran at Queen’s, Dr Paul B Hibbard of the University of St Andrews and Professor Alan Johnston of University College London, examined whether the human visual system detects transparently moving surfaces simultaneously or whether the directions are processed in a serial manner, and was published in a paper by the Royal Society on 7 February.

Previous research had purported to show that the human brain processes the different motion directions in a transparent scene in a serial manner. These findings were based on experiments in which the transparent motions were presented in the same depth plane (ie were the same distance from the viewer). The team’s research challenged these previous findings by testing people’s ability to detect the direction of transparently moving surfaces when the surfaces are placed at different depths. Their results provided evidence that the human brain does, in fact, process transparent motion directions simultaneously.

... more about:
»Transparent »direction

Speaking about the work, Dr Curran said, “This adds another small piece to the incredibly complex jigsaw which is the human visual system. It is also relevant to researchers who wish to develop artificial visual systems that ‘see’ in the same way as humans do.”

The research paper can be viewed on the Royal Society website at

Lisa Mitchell | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Transparent direction

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First results of NSTX-U research operations

26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica

26.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>