Looking but not seeing

How we perceive unfamiliar environments

A talk by David Foster, University of Manchester

Before all else, analysers of wayfinding issues and creators of signing, designed to address perceived wayfinding difficulties, must be aware of physical and cognitive factors influencing those navigating such environments. It is salutary, however, to observe that our knowledge of how we interact visually with the world is surprisingly incomplete. Where we look from one minute to the next is difficult to predict and what we see when we do look is uncertain. Although our perception of the environment seems faithful, much of the detail is guesswork.
This talk will provide an introduction to vision in natural scenes, the factors that influence gaze, search, and detection, and how one relates to the other. Particular attention will be given to the role of colour in scene analysis and how our ability to interpret colour information varies from one person to another.

David Foster is Director of Research and Professor of Vision Systems in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester. He has published about 200 research articles on topics such as scene analysis and visual perception, object and shape recognition, hyperspectral imaging, and normal and impaired colour vision. He is Editor in Chief of the international journal Vision Research.

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