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"ROBUST VISION" - New Research Network at the University of Tuebingen

A new research network at the University of Tuebingen, called "ROBUST VISION" will get funding from the German Research Council.

The University of Tübingen is acquiring a new collaborative research centre (CRC): In the "Robust Vision" CRC, neuroscience and machine learning researchers will investigate the principles of biological and machine vision starting January 2017 onwards.

Illustration of the robustness of vision: Images of the same scene under different illumination conditions (left panel) give rise to completely different visual input. The right hand side shows the intensities taken from the same row of pixels in the three different images. Despite the huge variation in the visual input our visual system has no difficulty in recognizing the scene as the same in all three images.

The project builds on a close collaboration between scientists from the University and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. Several groups from the Institute for Ophthalmic Research are part of the initiative (Dr. Berens, Prof. Euler, Prof. Schäffel, Dr. Wahl, Prof. Zrenner). Human visual perception is amazingly robust: Even in highly variable environments, we are able to make reliable inferences about the spatial arrangement of the world from limited visual information. "To achieve this, our brain must perform complex computations," says Professor Matthias Bethge, Head of the Bernstein Centre for Computational Neuroscience at the University of Tübingen (Centre for Integrative Neuroscience/Institute for Theoretical Physics) and spokesperson of the CRC. Artificial vision systems, in turn - as used, for example, in self-driving cars - are making steep progress in reproducing the visual skills of humans. The scientists of this new collaborative research centre will combine neuroscience and machine vision approaches to achieve a better understanding of the principles and algorithms that enable robust visual inference both in humans and machines and will also explore how this knowledge can be exploited in a clinical setting.

Contact details:

Prof. Dr. Matthias Bethge
University of Tübingen
Centre for Integrative Neuroscience/Institute for Theoretical Physics
Phone: +49 7071 29 89017