The two specific questions that the lab is currently exploring are:
1. What is the nature of the object representations in the brain?
2. How can object representations be learned from visual experience?
The Sinha lab is addressing the first question by examining the nature of information that the brain uses for recognizing important classes of objects such as faces. Especially interesting in this regard are impoverished images such as highly blurred photographs and minimalistic caricatures. Analyzing such stimuli promises to provide insights about what aspects of image information may be critical and/or sufficient for recognition. The lab's research on object learning involves work with a unique population of children in India who have gained sight after several years of congenital blindness. Studies of the time-course of visual skill development in these children provide valuable clues for the lab's ongoing efforts to computationally model the acquisition of object concepts by the human brain.
Ostrovsky, Y., Andalman, A. and Sinha, P. (2006). Vision following extended congenital blindness. Psychological Science , Vol. 17 (In press).
Balas, B. and Sinha, P. (2006). Receptive fields for recognition. Neural Computation,18 : 497-520.
Cox, D., Meyers, E. and Sinha, P. (2004). Contextually evoked object-specific responses in human visual cortex. Science, Vol. 303, No. 5667, pp 115-117.
Sinha, P. (2002). Recognizing complex patterns. Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 5 (suppl.), pp 1093-1097.
Sinha, P. and Poggio, T. (1996). The role of learning in 3-D form perception. Nature, Vol. 384, No. 6608, pp. 460-463.