Using VR to investigate the visual features that determine the effectiveness of disruptive camouflage
While research has begun to unpack how camouflage works, there are many gaps in our understanding. For example, in disruptive camouflage the false edges within the pattern do not attempt to exactly match the background, yet they aid concealment. We will use psychophysics and Virtual Reality (VR) to objectively measure the component visual features of camouflage in different contexts. The research will improve our understanding of both natural camouflage and the human visual system.
This project will for the first time offer evidence of how disruptive camouflage works. We will conduct psychophysical experiments in both 2 and 3 dimensions (using VR) to determine how different visual properties influence how effective camouflage is, including colour, luminance, spatial frequency, and global structure and how these relate to the same properties in the background. This will offer new information about which mechanisms drive this form of camouflage e.g. pictorial depth, contour integration, background matching or scene segmentation. Furthermore, in combination these findings will help us to create a contextual model designed to maximise camouflage effectiveness for a variety of backgrounds.
The research student will join our vision research group placed at the heart of the interdisciplinary collective of research at Abertay. The supervisory team have active collaborations with members of the School of Design and Informatics, home of the first Computer Games Degrees in the UK, and are well placed to provide a nurturing environment for a research student. Similarly, the student will help generate new work and ideas within the university and wider research community. The student will be invited to participate in Fife Tayside Vision Group (linking St. Andrews, Dundee, Abertay & Stirling Universities) and the Scottish Vision Group. The student will also be mentored at national and international conferences (e.g. AVA, SVG, ECVP, VSS). The goal of the studentship is to create a research practitioner who can extend the reach of the visual perception research capacity at Abertay, by developing an academic who can translate knowledge between theoretical vision science and applied research areas.
The PhD studentship provides a package valued at around £75,000. This includes a fully-funded tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year over three years, tuition fees, and a travel and equipment budget. You will be expected to undertake limited teaching duties of no more than 70 hours per year. We believe teaching and the associated training is an important part of academic career development.