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James V. Stone

James V. Stone is a Reader in the Psychology Department of the University of Sheffield. He is coauthor (with John P. Frisby) of the widely used text Seeing: The Computational Approach to Biological Vision (second edition, MIT Press, 2010), and author of Independent Component Analysis: A Tutorial Introduction (MIT Press, 2004).

Titles by This Author

How We Perceive the World

In this accessible and engaging introduction to modern vision science, James Stone uses visual illusions to explore how the brain sees the world. Understanding vision, Stone argues, is not simply a question of knowing which neurons respond to particular visual features, but also requires a computational theory of vision. Stone draws together results from David Marr’s computational framework, Barlow’s efficient coding hypothesis, Bayesian inference, Shannon’s information theory, and signal processing to construct a coherent account of vision that explains not only how the brain is fooled by particular visual illusions, but also why any biological or computer vision system should also be fooled by these illusions.

This short text includes chapters on the eye and its evolution, how and why visual neurons from different species encode the retinal image in the same way, how information theory explains color aftereffects, how different visual cues provide depth information, how the imperfect visual information received by the eye and brain can be rescued by Bayesian inference, how different brain regions process visual information, and the bizarre perceptual consequences that result from damage to these brain regions. The tutorial style emphasizes key conceptual insights, rather than mathematical details, making the book accessible to the nonscientist and suitable for undergraduate or postgraduate study.

The Computational Approach to Biological Vision

Seeing has puzzled scientists and philosophers for centuries and it continues to do so. This new edition of a classic text offers an accessible but rigorous introduction to the computational approach to understanding biological visual systems. The authors of Seeing, taking as their premise David Marr’s statement that “to understand vision by studying only neurons is like trying to understand bird flight by studying only feathers,” make use of Marr’s three different levels of analysis in the study of vision: the computational level, the algorithmic level, and the hardware implementation level. Each chapter applies this approach to a different topic in vision by examining the problems the visual system encounters in interpreting retinal images and the constraints available to solve these problems; the algorithms that can realize the solution; and the implementation of these algorithms in neurons.Seeing has been thoroughly updated for this edition and expanded to more than three times its original length. It is designed to lead the reader through the problems of vision, from the common (but mistaken) idea that seeing consists just of making pictures in the brain to the minutiae of how neurons collectively encode the visual features that underpin seeing. Although it assumes no prior knowledge of the field, some chapters present advanced material, This makes it the only textbook suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students that takes a consistently computational perspective, offering a firm conceptual basis for tackling the vast literature on vision. It covers a wide range of topics, including aftereffects, the retina, receptive fields, object recognition, brain maps, Bayesian perception, motion, color, and stereopsis. MatLab code is available on the book’s Web site, which includes a simple demonstration of image convolution.

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: file of figures in the book

A Tutorial Introduction

Independent component analysis (ICA) is becoming an increasingly important tool for analyzing large data sets. In essence, ICA separates an observed set of signal mixtures into a set of statistically independent component signals, or source signals. In so doing, this powerful method can extract the relatively small amount of useful information typically found in large data sets. The applications for ICA range from speech processing, brain imaging, and electrical brain signals to telecommunications and stock predictions.In Independent Component Analysis, Jim Stone presents the essentials of ICA and related techniques (projection pursuit and complexity pursuit) in a tutorial style, using intuitive examples described in simple geometric terms. The treatment fills the need for a basic primer on ICA that can be used by readers of varying levels of mathematical sophistication, including engineers, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists who need to know the essentials of this evolving method.An overview establishes the strategy implicit in ICA in terms of its essentially physical underpinnings and describes how ICA is based on the key observations that different physical processes generate outputs that are statistically independent of each other. The book then describes what Stone calls "the mathematical nuts and bolts" of how ICA works. Presenting only essential mathematical proofs, Stone guides the reader through an exploration of the fundamental characteristics of ICA.Topics covered include the geometry of mixing and unmixing; methods for blind source separation; and applications of ICA, including voice mixtures, EEG, fMRI, and fetal heart monitoring. The appendixes provide a vector matrix tutorial, plus basic demonstration computer code that allows the reader to see how each mathematical method described in the text translates into working Matlab computer code.