The Cognitive Brown Bag speaker this Wednesday will be Sam Ling of Boston University (https://www.bu.edu/psych/profile/sam-ling-phd-2/) on “How does normalization regulate visual competition?” (abstract below). As usual, the talk is 12:00-1:15, Tobin 521B.
Abstract. How does the visual system regulate competing sensory information? Recent theories propose that a computation known as divisive normalization plays a key role in governing neural competition. Normalization is considered a canonical neural computation, potentially driving responses throughout the neural and cognitive system. Interestingly, there is evidence to suggest that normalization’s pervasive role relies on an exquisite tuning to stimulus features, such as orientation, but this feature-selective nature of normalization is surprisingly understudied, particularly in humans. In this talk, I will describe a series of studies using functional neuroimaging and psychophysics to shed light on the tuning characteristics that allow normalization to control population responses within human visual cortex, and to understand how this form of normalization can support functions as diverse as attentional selection and working memory.