Calen Walshe

Research Fellow

The Center for Perceptual Systems


Current projects are focused on researching the early stages of image encoding in the human visual system and how this impacts behaviors like search, object recognition and decision making.


  • Perception & Decision Making
  • Eye Movements & Visual Attention


  • PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, 2015

    The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

  • BA in Cognitive Science, 2009

    Simon Fraser University, Canada



Research Fellow

The University of Texas at Austin

Center for Perceptual Systems

The Institute for Neuroscience

Aug 2015 – Present Austin, Texas

Graduate Researcher

The University of Edinburgh

Sep 2011 – Mar 2014 Edinburgh, Scotland

Research Internship


Jun 2010 – Dec 2010 Vancouver, Canada



Using human attention to improve deep learning performance in ATARI games.

Incorporating human gaze improves imitation learning of human actions in ATARI games.

Detection of camouflaged textures

To study the importance of edges in detecting camouflaged objects.

Detection of objects in natural images.

We developed a near-optimum detector for objects embedded in natural images. In experiments we tested the algorithm against the …

Optimal search for objects embedded in natural images.

Searching the environment in a fast and efficient manner is a critical capability for humans and many other animals. Normally, multiple …

Saccadic Decision Making

How does the visual system decide when to move the eyes when viewing natural scenes?

Recent & Upcoming Presentations

Center for Perceptual Systems Seminar Series

Pestilli Lab Speaker Series

A theory of visual search for targets added to natural backgrounds

A theory of visual search for foveated visual systems

Very large dataset and modeling of eye movements and actions during ATARI game play

In this project we collected a very large number of eye movements and game play data. The hope is that this data set will be widely …

Recent Publications

Detection of Occluding Targets in Natural Images

Detection of target objects in the surrounding environment is a common visual task. There is a vast psychophysical and modeling …

Atari-HEAD: Atari Human Eye-Tracking and Demonstration Dataset

Large-scale public datasets have been shown to benefit research in multiple areas of modern artificial intelligence. For …

Mechanisms of saccadic decision making while encoding naturalistic scenes

Saccadic eye movements are the primary vehicle by which human gaze is brought in alignment with vital visual information present in …

Asymmetrical control of fixation durations in scene viewing

In two experiments we investigated the control of fixation durations in naturalistic scene viewing. Empirical evidence from the scene …