Japanese researcher talks about object recognition in the brain

Professor Keiji Tanaka, director of the Cognitive Brain Science Research Group at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan, will deliver the prestigious Ian P. Howard Lecture in Vision Science at 2pm today at York.

Tanaka’s lecture, which takes place in the Robert R. McEwen Auditorium, W141 Seymour Schulich Bldg., Keele campus, is titled "Visual Object Recognition and Inferotemporal Cortex".

Rightt: Keiji Tanaka

Tanaka’s pioneering work has provided major insights into the neural codes that mediate object recognition in the brain. During the lecture, he will discuss his research looking at the cortical area of the brain, the highest brain area involved in the visual recognition of faces and objects.

"We are focusing on the mechanisms of visual object recognition in the inferotemporal cortex and those of goal-directed behavior in the prefrontal cortex," says Tanaka.

His work has shown that groups of nerve cells that respond to similar visual object features form clusters in the brain and that the cells in these clusters represent similar visual object parts. He has also investigated how different views of a human face are represented in the brain and discovered that adjacent views are encoded by neighboring groups of nerve cells.

Tanaka is author of numerous research papers on the visual brain, many published in the pre-eminent international neuroscience journals.

There will be a brief question and answer session after the lecture, followed by a wine and cheese reception.

For more information, contact York Professor Hugh Wilson at ext. 33140 or email hrwilson@yorku.ca.

The lecture is sponsored by the Centre for Vision Research at York.