Perception and Action in the Wild

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 4:10pm


Perception and Action in the Wild 
Roberta Klatzky
Charles J. Queenan, Jr. Professor of Psychology
Carnegie Mellon University
To paraphrase an old line, “What’s a nice cognitive scientist like you doing in a ___ like this?”  In my case, the blank can be filled with robot factory, biopsy suite, or summer camp for the blind. If I had been asked that question as I found myself  in any of those places (at the camp for the blind, in pitch-black surroundings), my answer would have been, pursuing cognitive acience and its application.  I look for the sweet spot that bridges interesting basic issues to human performance in settings where time and space are critical, and even small improvements matter.  I will talk not only about examples of this approach, but also about general principles that guide my choice of problems and methods by which I attempt to enhance perceptually guided action. 
Roberta Klatzky is the Charles J. Queenan Jr. Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, where she is also on the faculty of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. She received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Stanford University. She is the author of over 300 articles and chapters, and she has authored or edited 7 books. Her research investigates perception, spatial thinking and action from the perspective of multiple modalities, sensory and symbolic, in real and virtual environments. Klatzky's basic research has been applied to tele-manipulation, image-guided surgery, navigation aids for the blind, and neural rehabilitation. Klatzky is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Association for Psychological Science, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (honorary). For her work on perception and action, she received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award and the Kurt Koffka Medaille from Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Germany. Her professional service includes governance roles in several societies, research reviews for funding agencies in the US and Europe, and membership on the National Academy of Science’s Committees on International Psychology, Human Factors, Reducing Counterfeiting Using Behavioral Sciences, and Techniques for Enhancing Human Performance.  

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