Göm meny

Biological Vision Systems 2013

The human visual system is able to solve perceptual problems beyond current state-of-the-art in computer vision. The mammalian gaze-control and retinal stabilization systems also comprise one of the fastest control systems known in the animal kingdom. In this course we will read and analyze selected papers and book chapters on biological vision, in a critical review format.

Here's an xkcd take on the subject . (Thanks Jörgen!)


The course consists of a series of seminars, where selected scientific publications, and book chapters are presented and reviewed. The participants will themselves read, present, and review the material as part of the examination. Course credits are given according to degree of participation. 2hp is awarded for each seminar presentation plus 3 attendances. 1hp is awarded for a critical review. Each participant has the option of making either one presentation and one critical review, or two of each. The course is thus worth either 3hp or 6hp.

The course is organized by Per-Erik Forssén , and Michael Felsberg .

Course Registration

If you want to participate, send an email to either of us with: Full name, Personal number, preferred contact email (if different from sending email). This should preferably be done before Feb 15.

The Seminar Format

The seminars are meant to be interactive, and are opportunities to reflect on the text. Each 2h seminar consists of two parts, a presentation and a review:

1. The presentation . During the first half of a seminar, one student presents the text. (approx. 30min, plus 15 min interleaved discussion time.) All other participating students should also read the seminar text beforehand, and each one should prepare two discussion topics, which are to be brought up during the presentation.
2. The review . After the break, one student does a critical review. The job of the reviewer is to relate the seminar topic to other things, such as e.g.: Competing theories , Other course themes , Optics , Computer Vision , and Systems Theory . Prepare approximately 10 review items. The items should be presented in such a way that all participants are encouraged to discuss them.

The Seminars

The course starts with two introductory seminars, where the course format is discussed, and a course overview is given. After these two, the main block of seminars start. Below follows a list of texts, organized according to four themes: mechanics, action, perception, and learning. In practice these are of course all intertwined in any the visual system, and we will discuss interactions throughout the course.

Introductory Seminars

  • February 26, 10-12 Systemet . Introductory lecture.
    1. Why is biological vision relevant?
    2. Discussion of the course format.
    3. Assignment of presenters and reviewers.
    4. Scheduling of lecture times. Bring your calendar!
  • February 27, 10-12 BL34 . Gösta Granlund will give a lecture on Biological Vision in the Computer Vision Undergraduate Course. All participants should attend.

Eye Mechanics and Physics of Image Formation

  • March 5, 15-17, Systemet : A1. M. F. Land Dan-Eric Nilsson, "Animal Eyes", Book 2002, Chapter 1 "The Origin of Vision" [ PDF ] Presenter: Erik. Review: Bertil
  • March 6, 13-15, Systemet: A2. J. M. Findlay and I. D Gilchrist, "Active Vision, the physiology of looking and seeing", Chapter 2: "Background to Active Vision". (Paper copies) Presenter: Mikael. Review: Hannes
  • March 12, 13-15, Signalen : AX. Related publication: Dan-Eric Nilsson, "The evolution of eyes and visually guided behaviour", Royal Society 2009 [ PDF ] Presenter Gabriel. Review: Kristoffer

Active Vision

  • March 19, 13-15, Signalen: B1. M. F. Land "Motion and vision: why animals move their eyes",  Comp Physiol A (1999) [ PDF ] Presenter: Bertil, Review: Freddie
  • March 26, 15-17, Signalen: B2. M. F. Land "Eye movements and the control of actions in everyday life", RER2006 [ PDF ] Presenter: Hannes, Review: Erik
  • April 16, 13-15, Signalen: BX . A. Borst and J. Haag, "Neural networks in the cockpit of the fly", JCPA2002 [ PDF ] Presenter: Kristoffer, Review: Anneli
  • April 18, 13-15, Signalen: BY :J. M. Findlay and I. D Gilchrist, "Active Vision, the physiology of looking and seeing", Chapter 3: "Visual Selection, Covert Attention and Eye Movements". (Paper copies) Presenter: Hannes, Review: Mikael

Perceptual Organization

  • April 30, 13-15, Systemet: C1. Stone Chapter 3, The Neural Machinery of Vision. (Paper copies) Presenter: Gabriel, Review: Gustaf
  • May 2, 13-15, Systemet: C2. Stone Chapter 4, The Visual Brain (Paper copies) Presenter: Freddie, Review: Giulia
  • May 7, 13-15, Systemet: C3. Stone Chapter 5, Depth, the Rogue Dimension (Paper copies) Presenter: Anneli, Review: Gabriel
  • May 8, 13-15, Systemet: C4. Stone Chapter 7, The Color of Information (Paper copies) Presenter: Giulia, Review: Marcus
  • May 14, 15-17, Signalen: CX . Stone Chapter 6, The Perfect Guessing Machine (Paper copies) Presenter: Marcus, Review: Hannes

Visual Learning

  • May 16, 13-15, Signalen: D1. Maximilian Riesenhuber and Tomaso Poggio, "Hierarchical models of object recognition in cortex", Nature Neuroscience 1999 [ PDF ] Presenter: Marcus, Review: Gabriel
  • May 21, 13-15, Systemet: D2. Poggio, Bizzi, "Generalization in vision and motor control", Nature 2004 [ PDF ] Presenter: Gustaf, Review: Kristoffer
  • May 23, 13-15, Systemet: D3 . Olshausen and Field, "Sparse Coding with an Overcomplete Basis Set: A Strategy Employed  by V1?", Vision Research 1996 [ PDF ] Presenter: Kristoffer, Review: Gustaf
  • May 28, 13-15, Systemet: DX . J. Porrill, P. Dean, J. V. Stone, "Recurrent cerebellar architecture solves the motor-error problem", RSoc03 [ PDF ] Presenter: Gustaf, Review: Marcus


It is recommended that the participants obtain their own copies of the following two books:
  1. James V. Stone, Vision and Brain: How We Perceive the World , MIT Press 2012
  2. John M. Findlay and Iain D. Gilchrist, Active Vision: The Physiology of Looking and Seeing , Oxford University Press 2003

Senast uppdaterad: 2014-03-18