Miguel Eckstein

Psychological & Brain Sciences
(805) 893-2255


Research Interests: Finding your toothbrush, recognizing a face, or an object all might seem effortless but behind the scenes the brain devotes over 1/4 of its neural machinery to make these complex tasks seem easy. How does the brain do it? My research uses a wide variety of tools including behavioral psychophysics, eye tracking, electro-encephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and computational modeling to understand how the brain successfully achieves these everyday perceptual tasks. The investigations involve understanding basic visual perception, eye movements, visual attention, perceptual learning and decision making. I utilize the gained knowledge about how the brain accomplishes every day vision in combination with engineering tools to advance various applied problems: 1) understanding visual, cognitive and decision processes by which doctors detect and classify abnormalities in medical images and developing computer models to improve the way in which we display medical images so that doctors can do fewer errors in clinical diagnosis; 2) develop with engineers bio-inspired computer vision systems; 3) improve the interactions between robots/computer systems and humans.