Thomas Albright



THOMAS ALBRIGHT is the director of Vision Center Laboratory and Conrad Prebys Chair in Vision Research at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. His research focuses on the neural structures and events underlying the perception of motion, form, and colour. His studies of the primate cerebral cortex has helped to unveil the existence of multiple areas devoted to the processing of visual information. Through an integrative approach that combines neurophysiological and behavioural techniques, as well as computational modelling of neural networks, his research team is beginning to illuminate the mechanics of information processing in these high-level visual areas and to define their unique contributions to visual perception and visually guided behaviour.

Neuroscience and architecture

Good architects have lots of intuitions, and that’s why good architecture works. Our hope is that we can identify principles backing up those intuitions that are more deeply rooted in knowledge about how the brain works. We’d like to be able to identify, for example, what particular elements would give you a better space for learning.

The discipline of architecture has deep roots in ancient traditions that seek to optimize human behavioural and physiological responses to the built environment. Contemporary neuroscience takes this mission to a new level, in which the design of human spaces - spaces for learning, creation, decision and action - may be qualified and quantified by influence on information processing systems of the brain. Tom explored the implications of this new neuroscience for architecture by consideration of brain mechanisms for acquisition, storage, organization, retrieval and use of information within the spaces we inhabit.