Dale Purves

Research Professor in the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

Contact Information
B241, LSRC Bldg., Research Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Box 90999, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: 
(919) 684-6122

Overview

The Purves Laboratory is continuing to study visual perception and its neurobiological underpinnings. Ongoing investigations include understanding the perception of brightness, color, orientation, motion, and depth. The unifying theme of these several projects is the hypothesis that visual percepts are generated according to a wholly empirical strategy. The strategy represents in perception the empirical significance of the stimulus rather than its properties. This theory of vision and its relation to cortical structure and function is being explored by examining in probabilistic terms the perceptual responses of human subjects, the properties of virtual organisms that evolve in defined visual environments, and the response properties of visual cortical neurons in experimental animals. Current work is focused on the validation of the theory using natural image databases with complete information about luminance, color and range (physical geometry), asking whether the corresponding perceptual phenomenology is accurately predicted by the statistical information in these proxies of human experience. This empirical theory of vision is also being extended to understanding the phenomenology of music, and to audition more generally.

Education & Training

  • M.D., Harvard Medical School 1964

  • B.A., Yale University 1960

  • A.B., Yale University 1960

Auditory Perception and Emotion Recognition in Young People at Risk for Psychosis awarded by National Institutes of Health (Collaborator). 2016 - 2018

Specific Auditory Perception Impairment and Emotion Recognition in Schizophrenia awarded by National Institutes of Health (Collaborator). 2014 - 2017

The Biological Basis of Musical Tonality awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2009 - 2013

The Perception of Visual Space awarded by Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Principal Investigator). 2004 - 2007

A probabilistic concept of sensory cortical function awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2003 - 2006

Basic Postdoctoral Training in Neurobiology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1994 - 2005

Construction of Brain Circuits awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1998 - 2003

Mechanisms of active zone action awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2000 - 2002

Basic Predoctoral Training in Neurobiology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1998 - 2002

Basic Predoctoral Training In Neurobiology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 1997 - 1999

Pages

Bowling, D, and Purves, D. "A biological basis for musical tonality." In Sensory Perception: Mind and Matter, 205-214. January 1, 2012. Full Text

Bowling, DL, and Purves, D. "A biological rationale for musical consonance." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, no. 36 (September 2015): 11155-11160. Full Text

Purves, D, Morgenstern, Y, and Wojtach, WT. "Perception and Reality: Why a Wholly Empirical Paradigm is Needed to Understand Vision." Frontiers in systems neuroscience 9 (January 2015): 156-. Full Text

Morgenstern, Y, Rostami, M, and Purves, D. "Properties of artificial networks evolved to contend with natural spectra." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 Suppl 3 (July 14, 2014): 10868-10872. Full Text

Purves, D, Monson, BB, Sundararajan, J, and Wojtach, WT. "How biological vision succeeds in the physical world." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, no. 13 (April 2014): 4750-4755. Full Text

Morgenstern, Y, Rukmini, DV, Monson, BB, and Purves, D. "Properties of artificial neurons that report lightness based on accumulated experience with luminance." Frontiers in computational neuroscience 8 (January 2014): 134-. Full Text

Monson, BB, Han, S, and Purves, D. "Are auditory percepts determined by experience? (Published online)." PLoS One 8, no. 5 (2013): e63728-. Full Text

Ng, C, Sundararajan, J, Hogan, M, and Purves, D. "Network connections that evolve to circumvent the inverse optics problem." PLoS One 8, no. 3 (2013): e60490-. Full Text

Bowling, DL, Sundararajan, J, Han, S, and Purves, D. "Expression of emotion in Eastern and Western music mirrors vocalization." PLoS One 7, no. 3 (2012): e31942-. Full Text

Purves, D, Wojtach, WT, and Lotto, RB. "Understanding vision in wholly empirical terms." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108 Suppl 3 (September 13, 2011): 15588-15595. (Review) Full Text

Lotto, RB, Clarke, R, Corney, D, and Purves, D. "Seeing in colour." Optics and Laser Technology 43, no. 2 (2011): 261-269. Full Text

Pages