2pm - 3pm

Friday 5 August 2022

Cognitive tools for visual communication

CVSSP hybrid External Seminar 

Dr. Judy Fan, University of California, San Diego

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Hybrid Event
CVSSP Seminar Room, 35BA00
University of Surrey
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  • Dr. Judy Fan

Cognitive tools for visual communication

Judy Fan


The invention of technologies to externalize our thoughts in visual form was transformative for human cognition and culture, enabling the development of art, writing, mathematics, and the reliable transmission of knowledge. Perhaps the most basic and versatile of these technologies is drawing. From photorealistic sketches to schematic diagrams, drawing provides a versatile medium for communicating about the visual world. How do images spanning such a broad range of appearances reliably convey meaning? Do viewers understand drawings based solely on their ability to resemble the entities they refer to (i.e., as images), or do they understand drawings based on shared but arbitrary associations with these entities (i.e., as symbols)? This talk will highlight our recent progress exploring these questions, as well as open research questions in this domain.


Short bio:

Judy Fan is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Research in her lab aims to reverse engineer the human cognitive toolkit, especially how people use physical representations of thought to learn, communicate, and solve problems. Towards this end, her lab employs converging approaches from cognitive science, computational neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. Her work has been recognized with a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and Glushko Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Prize. She received her PhD in Psychology from Princeton University and her AB in Neurobiology and Statistics from Harvard College.

Attend the Event

This is a free online event open to everyone. You can attend via Zoom