Dale Purves – How Vision Succeeds in an Unknown World

Event Date: 7 March 2013
Room 243
Senate House
University of London
London WC1E 7HU

The Institute of Philosophy presents:

Dr Dale Purves (Duke) – How Vision Succeeds in an Unknown World

Dale Purves is Director of the Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders program at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Executive Director of the Neuroscience Research Partnership at A*STAR, both located in Singapore. Until 2009 he was Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience and George Barth Geller Professor for Research in Neurobiology at Duke University. He received a B.A. from Yale University in 1960 (where he was a member of Manuscript Society) and an M.D. from the Harvard Medical School in 1964. After several years in clinical medicine as a surgical house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital and as a Peace Corps Physician, he gave up medicine in favor of a career in neuroscience research. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard from 1968 to 1971 and in the Department of Biophysics, University College London, from 1971 to 1973. He then joined the faculty in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Washington University in 1971, where he remained until 1990. During that time he studied the development of the nervous system, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989. He arrived at Duke in 1990 as the founding chair of the Department of Neurobiology, where he became increasingly interested in cognitive neuroscience.

Purves’s work at Duke has focused on visual and auditory perception (including perception of music), exploring the hypothesis that, as a means of contending with the inverse problem in perception, percepts are generated by a neural strategy that represents the empirical significance of sensory stimuli rather than their physical features (see also empirical theories of perception).

Introduction by Professor Colin Blakemore (IP).

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