Dr László Tálas


My primary research focuses on computational approaches to questions concerning applied vision and problems lying at the intersection of sensory biology, psychology, history and art. I am particularly interested in “understanding” visual scenes with computer vision and drawing comparisons with biological visual systems. This leads to an obvious area of interest: camouflage. My research in camouflage covers functional evaluations (‘what is good camouflage?’), natural history (‘why are tigers orange?’) and anthropology (‘what are the underlying factors behind the vast diversity of human camouflage?’). Furthermore, I collaborate with colleagues to implement the methods derived from detecting hidden objects to real-world applications, such as understanding aesthetic preferences in museums (‘what elements of a paintings influence our liking?’) and early disease detection system in veterinary science (‘how to detect pathologies on noisy multispectral images?’).

Current projects I collaborate on include:

- Optimisation of both animal and human camouflage patterns in any arbitrary environment using artificial neural networks and optimisation techniques adapted from computer science

- Cultural factors underlying the evolution of military camouflage by examining the visual similarity between patterns and analysing potential phylogenetic signals of history

- Understanding the influence of style and semantic content on the aesthetic preference of paintings using machine learning techniques combined with neuroscientific approaches

- Developing an automatic early disease warning system for horses based on infrared thermography and supervised machine learning


I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2011 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology & Zoology. I did my final year dissertation on gloss perception in the large earth bumblebee (Bombus terrestris). I have decided to stay in Bristol to do a PhD; my thesis investigated the cultural evolution of camouflage uniform patterns and was supervised by Prof. Innes Cuthill (School of Biological Sciences), Prof. David Bull (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering) and Dr Gavin Thomas (Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield). Since 2015, I am a research associate at Camo Lab, working on how to optimise the evaluation of camouflage patterns.


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