10 Jan 2010

Endel Põder

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Endel belongs to the variety of researchers who are fascinated with conceptual and quantitative modeling of psychological perceptual effects. Graduate of the University of Tartu (see also his CV), he worked for some time in public opinion studies, but his keen interest in psychophysics of perception prevailed and Endel joined Talis Bachmann’s research group in 1990-ies. Endel Põder investigates attentional processes and mechanisms, with two central topics of his research in visual crowding and visual search. (For more detailed account of his research, see publications list in his CV.)

Endel has a sharp and critical mind in noticing shortcomings of experimental design and overlooked alternatives of interpretation. He is sceptical of the neuroscietific theories of visual and other cognitive processes unless a precise model consistent with behavioral results and firmly known neural-network characteristics is possible. Endel also tends to stick to the Occam’s razor strategies in his research and theorising. As simple and as clear as possible – this is his motif. If Talis writing often suffers from wordiness, then Endel’s writing sometimes suffers from too few words:-).

Endel’s more important research findings help to constrain possible interpretations of visual crowding. He has shown pop-out like effects in facilitating crowded target perception, paradoxical decrease of crowding with increased distracter density, dependence of the models sufficient to explain crowding on the number of distracters, size-based selection in visual search from RSVP, etc.

Endel Põder’s scientific visits have brought him also to the places with good modeling traditions of vision research – Greg Francis in Purdue and Johan Wagemans’ lab in Leuven.

Endel is also the best qualified computer programmer for experiments in our lab.

Endel Põder_CV

Personal webpage http://ut.ee/~endelp/

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