Funded by University of Bristol and Kyoto University, Olivia and László have visited Professor Hiroshi Ashida's vision lab at Kyoto University in Japan. The aim of the visit was to start international collaborations between Camo Lab and Kyoto, with a special interest in the effects of camouflage on a cognitive level. Professor Ashida's group has been investigating the human brain's processing of visual stimuli using fMRI scanners for years, hence we sought their expertise.
Organised by Professor Ashida and Dr Scott-Samuel, we have participated in a workshop for PhD students in experimental psychology. It was a joyful afternoon where we had a chance to hear about ongoing research in Kyoto. Kiyofumi Myoshi discussed the interaction of implicit memory and perceptual representation, followed by Tomoaki Nakazono whose project focuses on oscillations caused by decision-making in the rat hippocampus. After Toshiyuki Himichi's talk on how oxytocin gene polymorphism modulates the effect of psychological stress, we have given our own presentations introducing our projects and Camo Lab's aims in general. The workshop was a great success and we appreciate the comments and ideas by our Japanese audience.
Under the week-long visit, we have also successfully managed to kickstart scientific partnerships: Olivia was working with fellow PhD student Maiko Uesaki and they have started to outline an experiment examining the perception of concealed targets embedded in optic flow. Taking advantage of the university's great access to fMRI scanners, JSPS Research Fellow Dr Jasmina Stevanov and László have piloted a study looking at the brain's different reactions to natural scenes and camouflage patterns. Driven by new emerging ideas, promising preliminary results and the wonderful hospitality of our hosts, we have decided to pursue our collaborations further and looking forward to be working with Kyoto in the future.