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Cognitive Neuroscience of Visual Knowledge: Where Vision Meets Memory
2008 Second Annual Tufts University Conference on Emerging Trends in Behavioral, Affective, Social, and Cognitive (BASC) Neurosciences
May 29 - May 31, 2008
Tufts University, Medford, MA

Key Organizer: Haline Schendan, Department of Psychology, Tufts University
Sponsored by American Psychological Association, Tufts University, and Charles River Association for Memory



How can people interact appropriately with and understand the world they see around them? To do so, people must accurately perceive and conceptualize about the world, an ability that depends inherently upon their prior experience with the environment and their ability to consciously or nonconsciously reactivate this knowledge. This conference will bring together researchers in vision and memory, two important fields of Psychology that have proceeded largely in parallel. The National Institute of Health has recognized that advances in the field of learning and memory are among the greatest successes that science has made toward the goal of understanding the human mind. Moreover, the field of learning and memory has one of the longest and most fruitful histories of investigating conscious versus nonconscious processes, with key discoveries coming from studies of patients with amnesia. A deeper understanding of the latest discoveries in learning and memory is thus certain to inspire comparable advances among vision scientists. In turn, vision is the dominant sensory modality in humans, and so a deeper understanding of the neural basis of vision is sure to provide important information for developing comprehensive theories of visual learning and memory. Emerging research on the neural basis of visual knowledge has begun to achieve this desirable synthesis of vision and learning and memory fields. This conference will serve to facilitate not only the cross-pollination of ideas among scientists in each field but also to promote the continued emergence of a new field of visual knowledge that incorporates, with equal emphasis, the key ideas from both of these established research domains. Moreover, the conference will enable interactions not only among cognitive psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists in vision or memory fields who test human participants but also neurobiologists who study the neural basis of vision and memory in animals and scientists using computational modeling to develop theories of visual knowledge. These scientists rarely come together to exchange perspectives but instead attend separate meetings and yet their interactions are crucial to rapid advances in each field and the continued emergence of a field of visual knowledge.

To achieve these conference goals, speakers have been carefully selected from the fields of Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Neurobiology, and Computational Modeling. Learn more about the speakers at this conference.

We'd like to give special thanks to our sponsors: