Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How New Artificial Intelligence Can Help Us Understand How We See

Date:
February 25, 2009
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Computer artificial intelligence used to create previously unseen types of pictures to explore the abilities of the human visual system.

Queen Mary scientists have, for the first time, used computer artificial intelligence to create previously unseen types of pictures to explore the abilities of the human visual system.

Related Articles


Writing in the journal Vision Research, Professor Peter McOwan, and Milan Verma from Queen Mary's School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science report the first published use of an artificial intelligence computer program to create pictures and stimuli to use in visual search experiments.

They found that when it comes to searching for a target in pictures, we don't have two special mechanisms in the brain - one for easy searches and one for hard - as has been previously suggested; but rather a single brain mechanism that just finds it harder to complete the task as it becomes more difficult.

The team developed a 'genetic algorithm', based on a simple model of evolution, that can breed a range of images and visual stimuli which were then used to test people's brain performance. By using artificial intelligence to design the test patterns, the team removed any likelihood of predetermining the results which could have occurred if researchers had designed the test pictures themselves.

The AI generated a picture where a grid of small computer-created characters contains a small 'pop out' region of a different character. Professor Peter McOwan, who led the project, explains: "A 'pop out' is when you can almost instantly recognise the 'different' part of a picture, for example, a block of Xs against a background of Os. If it's a block of letter Ls against a background of Ts that's far harder for people to find. It was thought that we had two different brain mechanisms to cope with these sorts of cases, but our new approach shows we can get the AI to create new sorts of patterns where we can predictably set the level of difficulty of the 'spot the difference' task."

Milan Verma added: "Our AI system creates a unique range of different shapes that run from easy to spot differences, to hard to spot differences, through all points in between. When we then get people to actually perform the search task, we find that the time they take to perform the task varies in the way we would expect."

This new AI based experimental technique could also be applied to other experiments in the future, providing vision scientists with new ways to generate custom images for their experiments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queen Mary, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "How New Artificial Intelligence Can Help Us Understand How We See." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216092727.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2009, February 25). How New Artificial Intelligence Can Help Us Understand How We See. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216092727.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "How New Artificial Intelligence Can Help Us Understand How We See." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216092727.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Bracelet Changes Design With the Touch of a Button

Smart Bracelet Changes Design With the Touch of a Button

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) Interactive jewellery that allows users to change designs and doesn&apos;t need charging. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter's Periscope New Rival for Meerkat

Twitter's Periscope New Rival for Meerkat

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Twitter has unveiled Periscope, its live-streaming app to rival Meerkat and other emerging apps that have captured the attention of the social media industry. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins