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Benjamin van Buren
I study the mental and neural processes that convert patterns of light on the retina into representations containing meaning about the world. After over a century of experimental research, we now have reliable models of how low level visual features such as color and motion are perceived. I am inspired by the possibility that vision also traffics in high level visual features such as causality, animacy and intentionality. I use tools from psychophysics and neuroscience to answer the following questions: 1) What causes us to see something as alive? 2) What are the consequences of seeing something as alive?