CBMM Special Seminar: Psychophysics of Cephalopod Camouflage: Life as GIM in a GAN.

Photo of Prof. Jonathan Miller, OIST
May 21, 2018 - 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Jonathan Miller, Associate Professor | Physics and Biology Unit, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University(OIST)


Abstract: By a quirk of evolution, camouflaging octopus and cuttlefish report their visual perceptions by modulating their skin color and 3-d texture on time scales of seconds or minutes to match their surroundings (they are generative image modelers).  Their survival demands that predators perceive them as visual noise, whereas the survival of a predator demands that it detect them as signal, in a feedback loop that evolved on evolutionary time scales over millions of years (the generalized adversarial network).
Whereas the mechanical and physiological mechanisms of this camouflage have been studied intensively over the last few decades with steady progress, my research group seeks instead to elucidate the computation underlying it. Following the phenomenological tradition of Helmholtz, who discovered the RGB basis of human color perception over one hundred years before its physics and physiology emerged, we couple experimental, computational, and theoretical methods to characterize the i/o transfer function of the eye to skin mapping, in the first instance by identifying its fixed points.


43 Vassar St., Cambridge MA 02139


May 21, 2018


4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
MIT Building 46-3002 (Singleton Auditorium)