Sergei Gepshtein, Ph.D., studies perception and perceptual behavior from the mechanistic point of view of neuroscience and from a point of view that respects sensory experience as a research focus in its own right. He is a member of Center for the Neurobiology of Vision at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where he investigates boundaries of perception in the natural world and in visual media. At the Salk Institute, Sergei founded the Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies with the goal to translate results of basic research of sensation and perception to a wide range of applications: from immersive technologies and adaptive sensory devices to forensic science, architecture, and urban design.
Before joining the Salk Institute, Sergei studied stereoscopic vision and visual-haptic interaction at the University of California at Berkeley, followed by studies of perceptual organization and visual economy at RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan. His work has been supported by grants and awards from the Swartz Foundation for Computational Neuroscience, National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health in the U.S., and by National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan.
Sergei increasingly takes part in research of built environments and design of immersive media: as a founding member of the World Building Institute, as an inaugural recipient of the Harold Hay Research Award from the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), and as a member of Freeman Design Leadership Council. He recently joined the Board of Directors of ANFA, to further our understanding of human response to built environments using tools of neuroscience, experimental psychology, and psychophysics. And he helps to develop the educational curriculum at the emerging juncture of neuroscience and architecture, pioneered by NewSchool for Architecture & Design in San Diego.
In 2017 Sergei teamed up with the narrative designer Alex McDowell, RDI, to establish the Center for Spatial Perception & Concrete Experience (SPaCE) at the University of Southern California, where Sergei serves as the director. The Center develops new forms of physical, immersive, and environmental media, focusing on experience of space as a sequential, narrative process. An institution of learning and excellence in the arena of ArtScience, SPaCE connects partners that include global leaders from academia, industry, and government.