Max Planck Institute for biological cybernetics Tuebingen
- Country - Germany
- Town - Tübingen
- Web site - http://www.kyb.mpg.de
The Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPS-BC) is one of the 80 independently organized research facilities of the Max Planck Society that carry on basic research in the interests of the general public.
Since 1993, the thematic focus of the institute has been directed toward the elucidation of cognitive processes. In the Cognitive and Computational Psychophysics Department, about 50 biologists, computer scientists, mathematicians, physicists and psychologists utilize computer graphics and virtual reality technology to study the psychophysical and computational aspects of visual and haptic recognition, sensorimotor integration and spatial cognition.
Various psychophysical experiments are performed in a closed perception-action loop in naturalistic environments. Face recognition is studied in a face lab using a set of more than 200 laser-scanned 3D head models. Results from this research have already been applied to machine vision systems for the automatic synthesis of faces and facial expressions.
Haptic recognition of objects and haptic sensorimotor integration are studied using force feedback haptic simulators and a motion tracking system. Multi-sensory integration of an actively moving observer is done using a motion simulation platform. Multiple virtual reality setups including HMDs and projections up to a 240° panoramic view, shaker induced vibrations, HRTF-based sound simulation, and vestibular cues on a Stewart motion platform allow "state of the art" simulations.
The psychophysical and computational research in the institute is complimented by three other departments: Empirical Inference (focusing on statistical learning theory), Neurophysiology (studying the neural mechanism of conscious visual perception and object recognition with fMRI techniques) as well as a High-Field Magnetic Resonance Center, which is currently being established.