University of Rochester

EVENT: Brain's Role in Vision Explored at Science Meeting

June 2, 2000

For three days, scientists from a variety of backgrounds are coming together to explore what half our brains are doing all day-processing vision. The Center for Visual Science (CVS) at the University of Rochester, the top center in the world for the complete study of vision from the cornea to the brain, is hosting the 22nd CVS Symposium from June 1 to 3.

Neural coding is the topic of this year's symposium, and scientists from across the country will present research findings such as how a single flash of light is transmitted from the retina to our consciousness one cell at a time; how the brain times the different bits of information in a scene so they are processed together and make sense; and what parts of the brain are dedicated to perceptual understanding.

"Neural coding is the fundamental issue in understanding how events in the brain underlie our perception of the world," says Mary Hayhoe, professor of brain and cognitive sciences. "These presentations are some of the most stunning technical advances in recent years."

CVS is among the largest research centers dedicated to the study of visual perception at any university in the world. It consists of more than 25 laboratories where researchers study all aspects of vision, from its earliest stages, such as the encoding of patterns of light by neurons in the retina, to the interaction between visual perception and memory. The center's diverse researchers are drawn from the departments of computer science, neurobiology and anatomy, brain and cognitive sciences, neurology, ophthalmology, and optics at the University.