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Snapshot: From the Office of Chaz Firestone

photo of objects in professor Chaz Firestone's office
photo of Chaz Firestone

Chaz Firestone, an assistant professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences whose lab studies visual perception, likes to surround himself with objects that give a nod to his team’s research. 

In the foreground, the colored glass blobs on his Foscarini lamp—a prized consignment shop find—are reminiscent of the shapes used as visual stimuli in his lab. The framed blue artwork to its left is an “adversarial image,” used to illustrate the differences in how humans and machines perceive things (a machine thinks those abstract shapes are a hammerhead shark).

Above it, the wooden parallelograms are a visual illusion called “Shepard’s tables”; while the top left slab appears longer and narrower than the dark one on the right, if you switch the pieces, you will find their shapes are identical. To its left, and in the lower right corner, are Studio Cheha lamps whose apparently three-dimensional shades are actually flat surfaces printed with fiber optic wire patterns. 

Chaz Firestone shares the stories behind the objects in his office and their link to his visual perception studies.