Professor

Falmagne Endowed Chair in Mathematical Psychology

Department of Cognitive Sciences

University of California-Irvine

Irvine, CA 92697

email: zpizlo at uci dot edu

Office: SSPA 2187

Zyg's Conjecture:
veridical 3D vision is mathematically and
computationally so difficult that there is only one
way to do it.

Once you accept this, it follows that all animals
(including us) that see the 3D world veridically (or
nearly so) use the same algorithm. A computer that can
also see veridically, must be using the algorithm that
is used by the human visual system. So, there is no
longer any need to wonder about whether computer vision
should emulate biological vision. It must.

When Gestaltists
stated that "the whole is different from the sum of
its parts" they meant that the visual system is not
linear. Recall that in a linear system, the
response to a linear combination of inputs is a linear
combination of the responses to the individual inputs.
This is not the case in vision. See the demo
(courtesy of Prof.
Tadamasa Sawada), which shows that the percept of
a 2D hexagon and of a 2D "Y junction" cannot explain the
percept of a 3D cube.

My work is directed by exploring new ideas rather than
following established views. In this approach, rational
arguments are as important for me as experimental results.
The emphasis on principled reasoning means that in my
view, cognitive psychology is not a bag of tricks; Neither
is my research. A list of my most important contributions
is provided in the following file.
An abbreviated list is below:

1994 - proposed a new theory of shape constancy that
is NOT based on "taking slant into account"

1995 - developed a pyramid model explaining the
speed-accuracy trade-off in vision and mental size
transformation

2000 - developed a pyramid model that shows how human
beings solve the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP)

2001 - published a theoretical paper on inverse
problems in vision, making it clear that *a priori*
constraints are at least as important as the information
in the retinal image

2008 - published the first coherent treatment of the
history of shape perception - 3D Shape book

2009 - introduced a new theory of 3D shape perception
based on symmetry, compactness and planarity constraints

2011 - developed a new Bayesian theory of the
veridical binocular perception of symmetrical shapes
that emphasizes the role played by stereoacuity

2011 - published psychophysical results on the
transfer of skilled movement that suggested that the
motor system has a pyramidal architecture, very much
like the architecture of the visual system

2013 - developed a TSP model with a small human-like
working memory

2014 - published a new theory of 3D veridical vision-
making a machine that sees like us book

2016 - showed that a perceived closed curve is the
shortest path in the log-polar representation (aka
complex logarithmic map) present in the primary visual
cortex (area V1) of primates

2016 - explained how 3D visual perception can be a
"hard science" because symmetry, the least-action
principle and the conservation laws operate in 3D
vision: book chapter

2016 - helped to explain 3D and 2D figure-ground
organization by using 3D symmetry and gravity a
priori constraints

2017 - helped to formulate the first fully automated 3D
shape recovery model. The model solves the problem by
applying symmetry to binocular images: demos

2019 - described a process analogous to Noether's
(1918) theorem that explains visual perception (AJP
paper) - preprint

You can see the demos
for the 2014 book.

Check also demos on Tada's
web site