Is Seeing Believing? A Conversation with Tom Albright

tom-albrightWhat does eye-witness identification have to do with neuroscience?  A lot, actually.

Tom Albright is Professor and Director of the Vision Center Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA.  His research focuses on understanding how the brain interprets visual information so that we can thrive in our visually stimulating world.  In short, the brain processes only the very necessary information and ignores all the extraneous information.  This “pattern recognition filter” allows us to gloss over a familiar scene, like a crowd of business people in downtown.  But this filter also makes us really good at spotting the out-of-place panda there, too!


Understanding the neurological basis of this filter will help reveal truths about the visual system, perception, and memory.  But for Professor Albright, his research has even broader implications, namely in forensic science and reform. Surprised?  Listen to the full interview to learn about this seemingly obscure connection, and how he ended up studying this in the first place!

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Don’t miss Professor Albright’s talk on Monday, November 14th at 10 AM at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego!  He is giving the David Kopf Lecture on Neuroethics in Ballroom 20, and his talk is titled “Reforming Forensic Science: Some Insights From Research on Vision and Memory.”


The Knowing Neurons dynamic poster is on Sunday, November 13th!  We are Board no. DP10 in Hall B.  We’d love to meet you and share #scicomm and #sciart ideas, so please stop by!!

Join us in celebrating our Next Generation Award, which recognizes SfN chapter members who have made outstanding contributions to public communication, outreach, and education about neuroscience.  The award will be presented prior to the Presidential Special Lecture at 5:15 PM on Tuesday, November 15th, in the San Diego Convention Center, Ballroom 20.

See you at Neuroscience 2016! #SfN16

Kate Fehlhaber

Kate graduated from Scripps College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Neuroscience, completing the cellular and molecular track with honors. As an undergraduate, she studied long-term plasticity in models of Parkinson’s disease in a neurobiology lab at University of California, Los Angeles. She continued this research as lab manager before entering the University of Southern California Neuroscience graduate program in 2011 and then transferring to UCLA in 2013. She completed her PhD in 2017, where her research focused on understanding the communication between neurons in the eye. Kate founded Knowing Neurons in 2011, and her passion for creative science communication has continued to grow.