AVA Awards Recipients Report - Arthur Lugtigheid

Geoffrey J. Burton Memorial Award

Report of Vision Sciences Society meeting, Naples FL, USA, May 2010

I was awarded a Geoffrey J Burton Memorial Fund travel award and used it to attend VSS in May this year. This was an exciting trip for me, it being the first large conference I attended but also because it was my first visit to the USA. I found the sessions on 3D perception and binocular vision particularly interesting, as well as the sessions on scene perception, motion perception and spatial vision. What is more, I met a lot of starting vision scientists like me and thoroughly enjoyed socialising with them in a scientific context. My poster “The influence of retinal size on disparity-defined distance judgments” received considerable interest from a surprisingly large variety of backgrounds and provoked interesting discussions. The results presented in the poster showed that objects that project a larger size were judged as closer than objects with a smaller retinal size at the same disparity-defined distance. This result – to us – is surprising because retinal size is an ambiguous cue to distance and thus a priori its influence on distance judgments should be minimal, especially when observers have access to a much more reliable disparity signal. After visiting my poster, one professor invited me and my supervisor to further discuss the results in the (overwhelmingly large) house he stayed and I ended up cooking dinner for a number of famous vision scientists! It was an amazing experience and I would like to thank the AVA for providing the funds that made attending the conference possible.