- Studying the perception of fast motion is INTERESTING because we move our eyes all the time, and when we move our eyes the images of objects on the retina usually move very fast. The surprising thing is that we almost never perceive this fast motion, even though it's one of the more common stimuli that we experience. How do we instead perceive a stable world?
- But studying the perception of fast motion is HARD because we generate stimuli using computer monitors, and monitors are slow.
This is why we've been using specialized and very fast computer monitors to generate objects that move at the same speeds as retinal images during eye movements. And we've been finding very interesting phenomena: by varying certain details of the objects' trajectories, we can make them seem to go much faster or much slower, much farther or much less far. We can make them seem to leave smears like snails or slugs, or make their shape seem sharp.
All of these results have consequences for the problem of how we perceive a stable world in spite of our eye movements. We are now collaborating with neurophysiologists and neuromodelers in order to learn the origin of these phenomena in the brain, and what functional role they play in everyday perception.
The internship will consist in performing new behavioral experiments in humans to try to get to the bottom of these fascinating phenomena. It may also involve collaboration with neurophysiologists and modelers.