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PhD Studentship: Personalising Adjustments to Information Visualisations for Optimal Perception Accounting for Individual Differences Including Ageing

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A fully funded PhD opportunity is available for a collaborative project between the London Centre for Urban Science Progress (CUSP) in the Department of Informatics and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN). The multidisciplinary project will combine experiments and theory to develop tools to effectively convey complex visual information for example maps containing climate, weather, health, pollution or hazard measures inclusively across the adult lifespan. Computer based cognitive and visual perception laboratory experiments which include eye tracking will be carried out on healthy participants at the IOPPN. Data analysis and the development of appropriate models that capture the effects of ageing on vision will be carried out with colleagues at CUSP. The project will be supervised jointly by Prof. Nicolas Holliman (CUSP) and Dr. Andrew Meso (IOPPN).

Candidates should be interested in understanding human vision and in what it takes to produce good visualisations. Ultimately, the candidate will contribute to developing digital tools for presenting information and in building a deeper understanding of how such tools might interact with human visual-cognition processes. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the project, we will consider applicants from a range of scientific disciplines holding a BSc, MSci or MSc. Knowledge of cognitive experiments, brain function, data analysis, coding and mathematical/quantitative tools are all desirable. We seek an enthusiastic candidate who is keen to learn for whom we would support training on other essential skills for the project.

Project (brief) summary:   

Among the key issues in visualization is how we personalise visualizations, to communicate to people if their perceptual or cognitive abilities are atypical. This is particularly an issue when communicating critical information for decision makers, whether at national or personal level.

One of the key issues in perception and cognition is the effect of age. As we grow older, there is an increasing body of scientific evidence about changes that impact our visual abilities which occur at different levels from the eye itself through to the perceptual, cognitive and even so-called executive function systems. In the proposed research we probe potential changes in signal to noise levels of perceptual representation and aim to study the way in which visualizations could be automatically adjusted to adapt for a viewers’ personal abilities.

In this proposal we specifically seek to improve the scientific evidence base for visualizations and to add to evidenced knowledge of what works in visualization. The main contributions are likely to be in algorithms and the lab-based verification of visualization approaches.

More information

The search for a candidate will remain open until the first week of October (Ending Friday 06th) with interviews expected to be held during the first week of November and the project commencing in early 2024. To discuss the position informally and get more information, contact Dr. Meso ([email protected]) or Prof. Holliman ([email protected]).

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/study/research-funding/am-cusp-ioppn-24

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