Daniel J. Kersten, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology

E-mail: [email protected]

Kersten Computational Vision Lab (www.kersten.org)

Research Interests:

The visual system of the human brain has the remarkable ability to extract useful information from incoming retinal images that in every day life are high-dimensional, complex and locally ambiguous. However, most theories of vision have been developed and tested in simplified domains making their generality unclear. The starting point in my lab is  to understand the computational principles required for visual recognition given the complexities of natural image input. A central idea is that the visual system solves the problems of natural images through a hierarchical cortical organization together with bidirectional processing between areas of the hierarchy.  The experimental challenge is to test and refine such models. My lab has recently begun focusing on the problem of recognizing human body form. Bodies have a natural hierarchical representation in terms of sub-parts, parts and relationships.  We are using behavioral and brain imaging methods to test and refine hierarchical models and computations that support the visual interpretation of objects and, in particular, body form.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

  • Bratch A, Chen Y, Engel SA, Kersten DJ. Visual adaptation selective for individual limbs reveals hierarchical human body representation. J Vis. 2021;21:18.
  • Vizioli L, De Martino F, Petro LS, Kersten D, Ugurbil K, Yacoub E, Muckli L. Multivoxel pattern of blood oxygen level dependent activity can be sensitive to stimulus specific fine scale responses. Sci Rep. 2020 May 5;10(1):7565.
  • Morgenstern Y, Kersten DJ. The perceptual dimensions of natural dynamic flow. J Vis. 2017;17(12):7. doi: 10.1167/17.12.7.
  • Thompson WB, Legge GE, Kersten DJ, Shakespeare RA, Lei Q. Simulating visibility under reduced acuity and contrast sensitivity. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2017;34:583-593.
  • Fan X, Wang L, Shao H, Kersten D, He S. Temporally flexible feedback signal to foveal cortex for peripheral object recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016;113:11627–11632.
  • Kam TE, Mannion DJ, Lee SW, Doerschner K, Kersten DJ. Human visual cortical responses to specular and matte motion flows. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015;9:579.
  • Mannion DJ, Kersten D, Olman CA. Scene coherence can affect the local response to natural images in human V1. Eur J Neurosci. 2015;42:2895-2903.
  • Green CS, Kattner F, Siegel MH, Kersten D, Schrater PR. Differences in perceptual learning transfer as a function of training task. J Vis. 2015;15(10):5.
  • Akin B, Ozdem C, Eroglu S, Keskin DT, Fang F, Doerschner K, Kersten D, Boyaci H. Attention modulates neuronal correlates of interhemispheric integration and global motion perception. J Vis. 2014;14(12). pii: 30.
  • Mannion DJ, Kersten DJ, Olman CA. Regions of mid-level human visual cortex sensitive to the global coherence of local image patches. J Cogn Neurosci. 2014;26(8):1764-74
  • Qiu C, Kersten D, Olman CA. Segmentation decreases the magnitude of the tilt illusion. J Vis. 2013;13(13):19
  • McMenamin BW, Radue J, Trask J, Huskamp K, Kersten D, Marsolek CJ. The diagnosticity of color for emotional objects. Motiv Emot. 2013;37:609-622.
  • Mannion DJ, Kersten DJ, Olman CA. Consequences of polar form coherence for fMRI responses in human visual cortex. Neuroimage. 2013;78:152-158.

Former Graduate Students:

Jennifer Schumacher (Ph.D. 2010, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Serena Thompson (Ph.D. 2009, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Cheryl Olman (Ph.D. 2003, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Mark Brady (Ph.D. 1999, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Wendy Braje (Cognitive and Biological Psychology, University of Minnesota).

Pascal Mamassian (Ph.D. 1995, University of Minnesota).

Picture of Daniel Kersten