To our introspection the visual world seems to be of high resolution, homogeneously colorful, and stable. Only when viewing visual illusions or in case of disease do we occasionally realize that our brain has to infer the properties of the outside world from the information arriving at our retina and that it is usually extremely efficient in doing so. The talk covers some classic and some recent examples to show how – sometimes surprising – visual effects provide insight into the operation of the human visual system and will also discuss some of the physiological foundations of these processes.
Wolfgang Einhäuser-Treyer studied physics at the University of Heidelberg and the ETH Zurich. After earning his Ph.D. from the ETH, in 2004, he was a visiting researcher at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In 2012–2013 he was co-organizer of the research group Competition and Priority Control in Mind and Brain at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Bielefeld. In 2015 he was made Professor of Physics of Cognitive Processes at Technische Universität Chemnitz. Before that, he served as assistant professor of neurophysics at the University of Marburg.