Columbia University in the City of New York

Mar 20, 20184:00 pm

The Shape of Things and the Organization of Object-Responsive Cortex

Featuring Talia Konkle, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

March 20th, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (9th floor lecture hall)

When we look at the world, we effortlessly recognize the objects around us and can bring to mind a wealth of knowledge about their properties. In part 1, Dr. Konkle will present evidence that neural responses to objects are organized by high-level dimensions of animacy and size, but with underlying neural tuning to mid-level shape features.  In part 2, she will present evidence that representational structure across much of the visual system has the requisite structure to predict visual behavior. Together, these projects suggest that there is a ubiquitous “shape space” mapped across all of occipitotemporal cortex that underlies our visual object processing capacities. Based on these findings, she will speculate that the large-scale spatial topography of these neural responses is critical for pulling explicit content out of a representational geometry.

Talia Konkle's research focuses on the cognitive and neural organization of high-level visual representation: how do we organize our knowledge of objects, actions, and scenes? She employs a combination of behavioral techniques, human functional neuroimaging and computational modeling approaches.  She completed her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, majoring in both cognitive science and applied math. During her graduate training at MIT, she worked with Dr. Aude Oliva, studying visual processing within a computational framework, and completed her thesis on the role of real-world size in object representation in the mind and brain. In her post-doctoral training with Dr. Alfonso Caramazza, she explored the role of visual experience in shaping the neural organization of high-level categories.  Konkle joined the Psychology department and Center for Brain Science at Harvard University in July 2015.

Faculty Host: Stefano Fusi, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience; Principal Investigator at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute

For questions about the lecture, please contact [email protected]

Those who wish to meet the speaker during the visit should contact Stefano Fusi.

This seminar is part of the Systems, Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience Seminar Series at Columbia's Zuckerman Institute, which focuses on cognition and decision making research. Internationally renowned speakers present their recent work on these topics using behavioral, neurobiological and computational approaches. Seminars take place approximately every other week on Tuesdays at 4 pm in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (9th floor).

Venue: the Jerome L. Greene Science Center (9th floor lecture hall)
3227 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

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