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The fifth seminar "The Grand Illusion"

On October 9, 2015 the fifth annual seminar  “The Great Illusion” was held. It was organized by HSE Cognitive research laboratory , together with the Faculty of Psychology, St. Petersburg State University.

This year's seminar was held in Moscow, with sponsorship of HSE. The seminar consisted of four sessions with three talks per session. This year more than half of reports were about visual search, the topic widely studied in contemporary cognitive psychology. 

 

• The talks by Elena Gorbunova (HSE) and Alena Lanina (HSE) addressed the problem of search in multiple items scenes and, in particular, to discuss the results of the study that make an attempt to determine the cause of misses in visual search. 

• Igor Utochkin (the head of the Cognitive research laboratory at HSE) presented the results of a recent study conducted in collaboration with Jeremy Wolfe (Harvard University, United States). The study investigated the role of long-term memory in visual search: How the scene might be memorized and used in future similar tasks.

• Nadezhda Moroshkina (SPbSU) presented the results of her study of implicit learning in visual search task and how global features (background) could be used in visual search.

• Valeria Gershkovich's (SPbSU) studied visual search of polysemantic stimuli.

• Maria Falikman (Lomonosov Moscow State University & Cognitive research laboratory at HSE) focused on visual search for letters and words in large letter arrays. She demonstrated an interaction between automatic visual processing and controlled visual processing in this task.

The remaining talks concerned other topics related to visual attention and awareness.

• Nika Adamyan  (University Paris Descartes), described a series of studies of an illusion caused by motion: how this illusion is correlated with brain activity and what role attention plays.
• Ekaterina Gordienko (HSE) told about her study supervised by Joe MacInnes (HSE) where she tested the perception of shifted visual stimuli during saccadic suppression known to take place during normal eye movements. 

• Finally, Ekaterina Pechenkova (fMRI-laboratory of th Medical-rehabilitation center, Moscow) told about a neuroimaging study aimed to reveal brain correlates of inattentional blindness. This large study was done in collaboration with SPbSU and revealed activation of brain areas that involved in detection of uncertain objects in the dynamic scene. 

Each presentation was followed by a detailed discussion.