Group leader

 Dr. Isabelle Bülthoff
Phone: +49 7071 601-611
Fax: +49 7071 601-616

RecCat Overview Poster

Five most recent publications

Janssen CP, Boyle LN, Kun AL, Ju W and Chuang L (July-2018) A Hidden Markov Framework to Capture Human-Machine Interaction in Automated Vehicles International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction . in press
Danyeli L, Alizadeh S, Surova G, Jamalabadi H, Schultz M and Walter M (June-2017): Effects of Neurexan® on brain responses to deviant stimuli during an auditory oddball task, ISAD LONDON 2017: Perspectives on Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Looking to the future, London, UK, Frontiers in Psychiatry, Conference Abstracts: ISAD LONDON 2017.
Bülthoff I (November-9-2015) Invited Lecture: Race and identity: what gives a face its race and what do we remember about familiar faces?, University Bremen: Cognium, Bremen, Germany.
Chuang LL (November-5-2015) Invited Lecture: Beyond Steering in Human-Centered Closed-Loop Control, Institute for Neural Computation: INC Chalk Talk Series, San Diego, CA, USA.
Stangl M, Meilinger T, Pape A-A, Schultz J, Bülthoff HH and Wolbers T (October-19-2015): Triggers of entorhinal grid cell and hippocampal place cell remapping in humans, 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience 2015), Chicago, IL, USA.

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Here we present some recent and on-going projects that illustrate five of our research directions.

1. Perceiving static and animated faces and bodies:

  • Visual periphery plays a more important role in daily life than merely triggering gaze saccades to events in our environment [Fademrecht].

We used life-size animated and static human avatars to investigate action recognition in central and far peripheral vision.  Our results have shown that action recognition remains extremely accurate, even for actions presented far away from fixation. In sum, our studies have revealed that the recognition abilities of peripheral vision have been underestimate.

  • Moving faces are processed holistically [Zhao & Bülthoff].
Holistic processing denotes the tendency to perceive objects as indecomposable wholes. We tested participants for holistic processing with static and moving faces. Their responses demonstrate that both types of faces are perceived holistically.
  • Active exploration of avatars in virtual reality and its concomitant dynamic experience of the faces to be remembered leads to enhanced face recognition [Bülthoff et al].
We tested face recognition performance of active and passive participants. The active participants explored a virtual room filled with avatars, while passive participants viewed dynamic or static renditions of these explorations. Active participants and passive participants viewing dynamic renderings of the faces to learn displayed more robust face recognition.

2. Multisensory representation of persons

  • Distinctive (out of the ordinary) voices can prime the recognition of their paired faces better than typical (ordinary) voices [Bülthoff & Newell].
We paired ordinary faces to distinctive and ordinary voices or sounds during a learning session. Afterwards, priming was found for voices, but not for sounds and the best primes were distinctive voices. Our findings suggest an early and specific convergence of voices and faces in multisensory representation of persons.

3. Holistic processing of faces, bodies and objects

  • Static faces and line patterns are perceived holistically [Zhao et al]
Holistic processing—the tendency to perceive objects as indecomposable wholes—has long been viewed as a process specific to faces or objects of expertise. Our experiments show that unknown line patterns are processed as holistically as faces without any training.
  • Are faces, objects and bodies processed holistically in common brain areas? [Foster et al]
We used visual stimuli that consisted of faces, line patterns and bodies in a typical task testing for holistic processing (the full composite task). The brain activity of participants was recorded while they performed this task. Region of interest and whole-brain analyses will be used to find out whether there are common holistically-involved areas activated during this task.

4. Perception of familiar and unfamiliar faces

  • Not all aspects of very familiar faces are represented equally precisely [Bülthoff & Zhao]
We modified personally familiar faces to investigate what aspects of familiar faces we remember best. Modifications of the race and sex of familiar faces were not as easily discriminated as modifications related to the identity of a face.

5. Tactile perception

  • Neural representations of perceived roughness [Kim et al]
Surfaces with five levels of roughness were presented to participants visually, tactilely or both while their brain activity was recorded. Multi-voxel pattern analysis shows that roughness intensity information could be decoded independent to the stimulus types.  
Last updated: Friday, 23.02.2018