Digital exhibition shows how visual information makes sense

An exhibition now displayed on the digital wall at the Hargrave-Andrew Library illustrates how different types of visual information combine to produce our perceptual experience.

A research fellow from the Department of Physiology (Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences) has captured in an exhibit some of the regularities in which the brain specialises.

Dr Elizabeth Zavitz, who studies the brain from a computational perspective, explains that we are only likely to experience a very small subset of the huge diversity of possible visual images.

The things we end up seeing are not only constrained, but constrained in very predictable ways.

These constraints produce regularity that the brain can take advantage of to improve how it processes visual information.

Titled ‘From noise to meaning: how visual information makes sense’, the exhibit begins with static-like noise, similar to what old television sets often displayed during weak signal transmission. The noise in the video gradually thins until the image becomes sparse and individual patterns emerge.

The viewing experience becomes more comfortable as the visual information is arranged in increasingly natural ways and becomes more consistent with what the brain anticipates.

The regularities presented in the video have shaped how our visual brain has evolved and developed, and can help us understand the inner working of neural networks.

Hear about the science behind the exhibition from Dr Zavitz at a ‘Meet the researcher’ event. Come along if you are also interested in presenting your research through a digital exhibition in the Library.

Date:    Wednesday 18 April at 4pm
Venue:  Hargrave-Andrew Library, 13 College Walk, Clayton Campus

Light refreshments will be served. Register here.

‘From noise to meaning: how visual information makes sense’ will be on show until the end of June 2018.

A record of the exhibition is available in monash.figshare. 

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