Neurocomputational modelling of overt attention in naturalistic audiovisual scenes

Tim J. Smith (primary)
Department of Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck, University of London
Ilias Tachtsidis (secondary)
Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
University College London


How do humans reconcile the demands of an audiovisual environment with their viewing goals when deciding where to shift attention? Current neurocognitive insights into attention control are derived from studies in which the stimuli used are highly artificial (e.g. simple static 2D displays) and viewer movement and behaviour highly constrained, a far cry from the immersive dynamic everyday scenes attention control developed to handle. This PhD project will utilise recent advances in optical imaging (broadband Near-Infrared Spectroscopy), computer graphics and artificial intelligence to develop a neurocomputational model of overt attention in naturalistic visual scenes.


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2) Smith, Tim J. and Mital, P.K. (2013) Attentional synchrony and the influence of viewing task on gaze behavior in static and dynamic scenes. Journal of Vision 13 (8), ISSN 1534-7362.
3) Tatler, B. W., Hayhoe, M., Land, M. F., and Ballard, D. H (2011) Eye guidance in natural vision: Reinterpreting salience. Journal of Vision 2011;11(5):5. doi:
4) Pinti, P., Siddiqui, M.F., Levy, A.D. Jone, E., and Tachtsidis, I. (2021). An analysis framework for the integration of broadband NIRS and EEG to assess neurovascular and neurometabolic coupling. Sci Rep 11, 3977.
5) Pinti, P., Aichelburg, C., Gilbert, S., Hamilton, A., Hirsch, J., Burgess, P. and Tachtsidis, I. (2018), A Review on the Use of Wearable Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy in Naturalistic Environments. Jpn Psychol Res, 60: 347-373.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Techniques & Approaches
Image ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsSimulation / Modelling