Sergei Gepshtein, M.SC., Ph.D.


Sergei is a scientist working in the areas of perceptual psychology and sensory neuroscience. He is a member of the Center for Neurobiology of Vision at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where he studies boundaries of perception in the natural world and in visual media. He directs the Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies, which he founded at the Salk Institute with the goal to translate results of basic sensory research toward a wide range of applications: from immersive visual technologies and adaptive sighting devices to architecture, urban design, and forensic science.

Before joining the Salk Institute, Sergei investigated stereoscopic vision and interaction of vision and haptic sense at the University of California, Berkeley. then he studied computational principles of perceptual organization and pattern visibility at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan.

His research received grants and awards from the Swartz Foundation for Computational Neuroscience Research (USA), the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (Japan), the National Science Foundation (USA), and the National Institutes of Health (USA).

Sergei increasingly takes part in research of built environments and design of immersive media: as a founding member of the USC World Building Institute, as an inaugural recipient of the Harold Hay Research Award from the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), and as a member of Freeman Design Leadership Council. He recently joined the Board of Directors of ANFA, to further our understanding of human response to built environments. He also helps to develop the educational curriculum at the emerging juncture of neuroscience and architecture, pioneered by NewSchool for Architecture & Design in San Diego.

Sergei has recently teamed up with the narrative designer Alex McDowell, RDI, to establish the Center for Spatial Perception & Concrete Experience (SPaCE) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. SPaCE develops new forms of physical, immersive, and environmental media, focusing on experience of space as a sequential, narrative process.

Selected Publications

Snider J, Lee D, Poizner H & Gepshtein S (2015). Prospective optimization with limited resources. PLoS Computational Biology, 11 (9): e1004501. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004501.

Gepshtein S, Li X, Snider J, Plank M, Lee D & Poizner H (2014). Dopamine function and the efficiency of human movement. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26 (3), 645-657.

Sejnowski TJ, Poizner H, Lynch G, Gepshtein S & Greenspan RJ (2014). Prospective optimization. Proceedings of the IEEE, 102 (5), 799-811.

Gepshtein S, Lesmes LA & Albright TD (2013). Sensory adaptation as optimal resource allocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110 (11), 4368-4373.

Jurica P, Gepshtein S, Tyukin I & van Leeuwen C (2013). Sensory optimization by stochastic tuning. Psychological Review, 120 (4), 798-816.

Kubovy M, Epstein W, & Gepshtein S (2013). Visual perception: Theoretical and methodological foundations. In Healy AF & Proctor RW (Eds), Experimental Psychology, Second edition, 85-119, Volume 4 in Weiner IB (Editor-in-Chief) Handbook of Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA.

Alexander DM, Jurica P, Trengove C, Nikolaev AR, Gepshtein S, et al (2013). Traveling waves and trial averaging: The nature of single-trial and averaged brain responses in large-scale cortical signals. NeuroImage, 73, p. 95-112.

Plomp G, van Leeuwen C & Gepshtein S (2012). Perception of time in articulated visual events. Frontiers in Psychology, 3:564, 1-8.

Wagemans J, Feldman J, Gepshtein S, Kimchi R, Pomerantz JR, et al (2012). A century of Gestalt psychology in visual perception. Conceptual and theoretical foundations. Psychological Bulletin, 138 (6), 1218-1252.

Vidal-Naquet M & Gepshtein S (2012). Spatially invariant computations in stereoscopic vision. Frontiers of Computational Neuroscience, 6:47, 1-13.

Gepshtein S, Tyukin I & Kubovy M (2011). A failure of the proximity principle in the perception of motion. Humana Mente, 17, 21-34.

Gepshtein S (2010). Two psychologies of perception and the prospect of their synthesis. Philosophical Psychology, 23 (2), 217-281.

Nikolaev AR, Gepshtein S, Gong P & van Leeuwen C (2009). Duration of coherence intervals in electrical brain activity in perceptual organization. Cerebral Cortex, 20 (2), 365-382.

Gepshtein S (2009). Closing the gap between ideal and real behavior: Scientific vs. engineering approaches to normativity. Philosophical Psychology, 22 (1), 61-75.

Nikolaev AR, Gepshtein S, Kubovy M & van Leeuwen C (2008). Dissociation of early evoked cortical activity in perceptual grouping. Experimental Brain Research, 186 (1), 107-122.

Gepshtein S, Elder JH & Maloney LT (2008). Perceptual organization and neural computation. Journal of Vision, 8 (7), 1-4.

Gepshtein S & Kubovy M (2007). The lawful perception of apparent motion. Journal of Vision, 7 (8):9, 1-15.

Gepshtein S, Tyukin I & Kubovy M (2007). The economics of motion perception and invariants of visual sensitivity. Journal of Vision, 7 (8):8, 1-18.

Gepshtein S, Seydell A & Trommershäuser J (2007). Optimality of human movement under natural variations of visual-motor uncertainty. Journal of Vision, 7 (5):13, 1-18.

Trommershäuser J, Gepshtein S, Maloney LT, Landy MS & Banks MS (2005). Optimal compensation for changes in task relevant movement variability. Journal of Neuroscience, 25 (31), 7169-7178.

Gepshtein S & Kubovy M (2005). Stability and change in perception: Spatial organization in temporal context. Experimental Brain Research, 160 (4), 487-495.

Gepshtein S, Burge J, Ernst M & Banks MS (2005). The combination of vision and touch depends on spatial proximity. Journal of Vision, 5 (11):7, 1013-1023.

Banks MS, Gepshtein S & Landy MS (2004). Why is spatial stereoresolution so low? Journal of Neuroscience, 24 (9), 2077-2089.

Kubovy M and Gepshtein S (2003). Perceptual grouping in space and in space-time: An exercise in phenomenological psychophysics. In Behrmann M, Kimchi R, and Olson CR (Eds) Perceptual Organization in Vision: Behavioral and Neural Perspectives, 45-85. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ, USA.

Gepshtein S & Banks MS (2003). Viewing geometry determines how vision and touch combine in size perception. Current Biology, 13 (6), 483-488.

Kubovy M & Gepshtein S (2000). Gestalt: From phenomena to laws. In Boyer KL and Sarkar A (Eds) Perceptual Organization for Artificial Vision Systems, 41-71. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA, USA.

Gepshtein S & Kubovy M (2000). The emergence of visual objects in space-time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 97 (14), 8186-8191.