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TDLC Participants Receive Guggenheim, SMART Fellowships

July 3, 2007 -- Two participants in TDLC from Brown University -- Professor Michael Tarr and graduate student Jean Vettel -- recently were awarded fellowships.

Michael Tarr

Michael Tarr


Tarr is a Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, and Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, at Brown University. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2007-'08, to undertake research on "statistical models of structural visual object recognition in humans."

Vettel's SMART Fellowship, from the U.S. Department of Defense, will support her through completion of her Ph.D. over the next two years. She is researching the neural basis of object invariance. After completing her Ph.D., Vettel will work in a DoD laboratory. SMART stands for Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation, and the Pentagon fellowships are offered to undergraduate, Master's and doctoral students who have demonstrated ability and special aptitute for training and education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Tarr's research interests include: object and face representation and recognition; perceptual categorization, learning, and expertise; how cognitive and perceptual knowledge interact; the role of surface properties in object perception and recognition; as well as visual navigation and scene representation in virtual environments.

Vettel is a graduate student in Tarr's lab at Brown. Her research interests include: object invariance (using lighting invariance as a test case); multimodal object recognition; and experimental paradigms best suited for expertise acquisition. Vettel's research methods include behavioral experiments and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).