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ECVP2006 Symposium on Associative Learning in Perception

Yuri Shelepin, organizer of the 2006 European Conference on Visual Perception, has asked my help in organizing a symposium on the topic of "Associative Learning in Perception (Pavlov and Perception)". This topic has received renewed interest with the recent demonstration that the appearance of a bistable stimulus can be controlled by newly learned cues. By happy coincidence this year's conference is in St. Petersburg, home of Pavlov's famous laboratory. ECVP runs August 20-25 this year.

The symposium has these aims:

  1. to discuss the relationship between various forms of perceptual learning--cue re-weighting, cue recruitment, recalibration, and learning to discriminate;
  2. to develop consensus about appropriate methods for the experimental study of learned changes in appearance;
  3. to review probabilistic approaches to perception dating from the 1940's that were inspired by Pavlov's work and that have relevance once again in light of modern Bayesian approaches to perception.

I would like to encourage anyone interested in this topic to come to ECVP this year, and if possible to submit an abstract. The structure of the symposium will leave more time than usual for discussion and remarks by those in attendance. It would be helpful to me to hear from those who think it likely they will attend.

Andrew Watson, the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Vision, suggests that work presented at ECVP on associative learning in perception could serve as the basis for a special issue in the Journal of Vision, if there is sufficient interest.

To submit an abstract to ECVP2006, please visit The deadline for abstract submission is March 15. It is not necessary to select this symposium as your "Topic Preference" during abstract submission, but kindly let me know if your submission is related to the symposium so that I can be aware of it.