AFC Lab Talk Series

Together with the Cognitive and Affective Regulation Laboratory (CARLA) we host a virtual talk series together — now, typically on Mondays. Our aim: to support early-career researchers and underrepresented groups by providing a platform for their work and increasing networking opportunities.

If you'd like to give a talk, drop us a message and we'll get it organised.

You can access the talks via this Zoom Link.

Mon, 01 Jul 2024
Error Consistency between Humans and Machines as a function of presentation duration
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Within the last decade, Deep Artificial Neural Networks (DNNs) have emerged as powerful computer vision systems that match or exceed human performance on many benchmark tasks such as image classification. But whether current DNNs are suitable computational models of the human visual system remains an open question: While DNNs have proven to be capable of predicting neural activations in primate visual cortex, psychophysical experiments have shown behavioral differences between DNNs and human subjects, as quantified by error consistency. Error consistency is typically measured by briefly presenting natural or corrupted images to human subjects and asking them to perform an n-way classification task under time pressure. But for how long should stimuli ideally be presented to guarantee a fair comparison with DNNs? Here we investigate the influence of presentation time on error consistency, to test the hypothesis that higher-level processing drives behavioral differences. We systematically vary presentation times of backward-masked stimuli from 8.3ms to 266ms and measure human performance and reaction times on natural, lowpass-filtered and noisy images. Our experiment constitutes a fine-grained analysis of human image classification under both image corruptions and time pressure, showing that even drastically time-constrained humans who are exposed to the stimuli for only two frames, i.e. 16.6ms, can still solve our 8-way classification task with success rates way above chance. We also find that human-to-human error consistency is already stable at 16.6ms.
Mon, 23 Sept 2024
Comparing supervised learning dynamics: Deep neural networks match human data efficiency but show a generalisation lag
University of Bern
Recent research has seen many behavioral comparisons between humans and deep neural networks (DNNs) in the domain of image classification. Often, comparison studies focus on the end-result of the learning process by measuring and comparing the similarities in the representations of object categories once they have been formed. However, the process of how these representations emerge—that is, the behavioral changes and intermediate stages observed during the acquisition—is less often directly and empirically compared. In this talk, I'm going to report a detailed investigation of the learning dynamics in human observers and various classic and state-of-the-art DNNs. We develop a constrained supervised learning environment to align learning-relevant conditions such as starting point, input modality, available input data and the feedback provided. Across the whole learning process we evaluate and compare how well learned representations can be generalized to previously unseen test data. Comparisons across the entire learning process indicate that DNNs demonstrate a level of data efficiency comparable to human learners, challenging some prevailing assumptions in the field. However, our results also reveal representational differences: while DNNs' learning is characterized by a pronounced generalisation lag, humans appear to immediately acquire generalizable representations without a preliminary phase of learning training set-specific information that is only later transferred to novel data.