The Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, University of Hyderabad recently hosted an online lecture by Prof. Pawan Sinha, Professor of Vision and Computational Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, USA on “Butter fly effects in Perceptual Development”. The talk held on Aug 5th, 2021 was part of an online distinguished speaker series initiated by Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences under the banner of “CogTalk”. The talk was moderated by Prof. Ramesh Mishra, Head, Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences. CogTalk is an interdisciplinary platform for lectures/interactive sessions by distinguished speakers related to mind and brain sciences. The objective is to engage students, researchers, faculty in cognitive science and spread awareness of research areas which are asking innovative questions and using truly interdisciplinary ideas/methods to answer these questions.

The main focus of the lecture was on how atypical development in vision in early stages on infancy impacts later perceptual processing. Building on a case study from his lab, Prof. Sinha demonstrated that difficulties in recognition in children can sometimes be related to the learning that occurs in infancy. More specifically, high acuity vision in early stages of development can sometimes lead to worse recognition performance in later stages of life because of deficits in global processing. The talk was followed by a fascinating discussion with the moderator and the audience. There were questions on the connection between such visual processing deficits and attention whether studying the developmental aspects of these deficits can be brought under the gambit of attention.

This interdisciplinary initiative is part of the ongoing iBrain Erasmus+ multi-institutional project on capacity building in higher education of which Prof. Ramesh Mishra is one of the coordinators.

Contributed by Seema Prasad, Senior Project Associate, Center for Neural and Cognitive Sciences.

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