He shall describe a visual search experiment conducted by Sripati and Olson (2010) where the objective was to identify, as quickly as possible, an oddball image embedded among multiple distractor images. Remarkably, the reaction times for identifying the oddball (in humans) were highly correlated with an ad hoc neuronal metric obtained from measured neuronal responses to component images in macaques. He shall suggest an alternative neuronal metric that is based on an active sequential hypothesis testing model of visual search, and on a classical result of Chernoff on sequential design of experiments (1959). The correlation between the reaction times and the alternative neuronal metric continues to be high, and has the advantage of being firmly grounded in decision theory. He will then discuss some predictions made by their model, and additional experiments that highlight the challenges involved in the modeling. The talk is based on ongoing work with Nidhin Koshy Vaidhiyan and Arun Sripati.
Rajesh Sundaresan got his BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras and PhD from Princeton University. He worked with Qualcomm for several years before joining the Department of Electrical Communications Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where he is an Associate Professor. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Coordinated Sciences Laboratory of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under an Indo-US Science & Technology Forum Fellowship. His research interests are in the areas of communication networks and information theory.