New lecture series celebrates the founder of the Centre for Vision Research

York’s Centre for Vision Research is celebrating its founder with a special lecture series in his name. The Ian P. Howard Lecture Series in Vision Science will provide a venue for world-renowned vision researchers to deliver lectures on their findings.

The series was established this year to celebrate Howard’s enormous contributions to the international reputation of the Centre for Vision Research. Howard’s own research investigates the fundamental mechanisms that enable humans to orient themselves and perceive the three-dimensional layout of their surroundings.

Right: Ian P. Howard

He is particularly interested in the mechanisms of stereoscopic vision and his work studies of the coordinated movements of the two eyes that are required to keep the two images in register and allow us to see in three dimensions. To assist with this research, Howard’s team has constructed large computer-driven stereoscopic viewing systems that allow to researchers to investigate the mechanisms responsible for the perception of the three-dimensional layout of surfaces.

The inaugural Ian P. Howard Lecture in Vision Science will be given by Professor Richard Andersen of the California Institute of Technology. The lecture will take place today, at 2pm, in the Accolade East Theatre, in the Accolade East Building located on York’s Keele campus.

Andersen will discuss the intriguing concept of why pictures look right when viewed from the wrong place, and sometimes, why pictures look wrong when viewed from the right place. Andersen, the James G. Boswell Professor of Neuroscience, is a neuroscientist who has garnered considerable attention in recent years for his progress toward the goal of controlling prosthetic devices with brain signals. Much of his current work focuses on severely paralyzed human patients who can think about making movements, but due to brain lesions from trauma, stroke, or peripheral neuropathies, can no longer make movements. His approach is to create brain-implant technology that will act as an interface between a patient’s thoughts for movement and artificial limbs, computers, or other devices, that would “read out” the patient’s desires.

Other lectures in the series include:

  • Professor Martin Banks
    University of California at Berkeley
    Friday, March 9, 2007, at 2pm
    Seymour Schulich Building Assembly Hall
    “Neural Synchrony and Attention”

  • Professor Robert Desimone
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Friday, April 13, 2007, at 2pm
    Seymour Schulich Building Assembly Hall
    “Robot Vision”

  • Professor Takeo Kanade
    Carnegie-Mellon University
    Friday, May 25, 2007, at 2pm
    Location TBA

A wine and cheese reception will follow after each lecture. For further information and lecture locations visit the Ian P. Howard Lecture Series in Vision Research Web page or contact Teresa Manini, administrative assistant, Centre for Vision Research, at ext. 55659 or e-mail