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Dale Purves (born March 11, 1938) is George Barth Geller Professor for Research in Neurobiology at Duke University. He was the Director of the Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders program at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Executive Director of the A*STAR Neuroscience Research Partnership from 2009 to 2014 in Singapore. From 2003 to 2009 he was Director of Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. After several years in clinical medicine as a surgical house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital and as a Peace Corps Physician, he gave up medicine in favor of a career in neuroscience research. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1960 and a Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School in 1964. Following a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard from 1968 to 1971 and in the Department of Biophysics, University College London, from 1971 to 1973. He joined the faculty in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Washington University in 1971, where he remained until 1990. During that time he studied the development of the nervous system, and was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1989. He came to Duke in 1990 as the founding chair of the Department of Neurobiology,where he became increasingly interested in cognitive neuroscience. Purves's work at Duke has focused on visual and auditory perception (including music), exploring the hypothesis that, as a means of contending with the inverse problem, percepts are generated by a neural strategy that depends on the empirical significance for reproductive success of stimuli created by sensory systems rather than the physical parameters of the real world (see empirical theory of perception).
Empirical theory of perception [ edit ]
According to the wholly empirical theory of perception developed by Purves, R. Beau Lotto and others, perception and sensory function generally must be understood as the outcome of a neural strategy whose goal is to generate appropriate behavior despite the absence of real world measurement. Since the inverse problem precludes direct analysis of objects, this strategy uses the history of the species and individual to associate sensory signals with successful behavior. For example, the perception of lightness is confounded by the fact that a visual image conflates illumination, reflection and transmittance. Because the eye receives only the final product, the visual system cannot logically determine the relative contributions of these factors. Successful behavior and reproduction nonetheless depend on the ability to discriminate these different factors. In an empirical account, the frequency with which stimuli occur determines what humans and other animals actually perceive. This strategy determines perceptual qualities of color, contrast, distance, size, line orientation and angles, and motion.
Published works [ edit ]
Purves, Dale (1985).
Principles of Neural Development, Sinauer Associates, 433 pages. ISBN 978-0878937448 Purves D, Lotto RB (2003) Why we see what we do: An empirical theory of vision. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates
.  Purves et al. (2007) Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience. Sunderland,MA: Sinauer Associates, 2007
 Purves D, Augustine GA, Fitzpatrick D, Hall W, LaMantia A-S, McNamara JO, Williams SM (2008) Neuroscience, 4th edition. Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA
..  Purves D (2010) Brains: How they Seem to Work. Financial Times Press, New Jersey.
 Purves D, Lotto RB (2011) Why We See What We Do Redux: A Wholly Empirical Theory of Vision. Sinauer Associates, Inc, United States of America.
Yang, Z.; Purves, D. (2003). Image/Source statistics in natural scenes. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 14: 371–390
.  Yang, Z.; Purves, D. (2003). "
A statistical explanation of visual space", Nature, Neuroscience 6: 632–640 Schwartz D, Howe CQ, Purves D (2003) The statistical structure of human speech sounds predicts musical universals. J Neurosci 23:7160–7168
.  Howe Q, Purves D (2003) Size contrast explained by the statistics of scene geometry. J Cog Neurosci 16:90–102
.  Long F, Purves D (2003) Natural scene statistics as a universal basis for color context effects. Proc Natl Acad Sci 100 (25): 15190–15193.
 Purves D, Williams MS, Nundy S, Lotto RB (2004) Perceiving the intensity of light. Psychological Rev 111(1): 142–158.
Yang Z, Purves D (2004) The statistical structure of natural light patterns determines perceived light intensity. Proc Natl Acad Sci 101: 8745–8750
.  Schwartz D, Purves D (2004) Pitch is determined by naturally occurring periodic sounds. Hearing Research 194: 31–46
.  Howe CQ, Purves D (2005) Natural scene geometry predicts the perception of angles and line orientation. Proc Natl Acad Sci 102: 1228–1233
.  Howe CQ, Purves D (2005) The
Müller-Lyer illusion explained by the statistics of image-source relationships. Proc Natl Acad Sci 102: 1234–1239 .  Howe CQ, Yang Z, Purves D (2005) The Poggendorff illusion explained by natural scene statistics of image-source relationships. Proc Natl Acad Sci 102:7707–7712
.  Long F, Yang Z, Purves D (2006) Spectral statistics in natural scene predict hue, saturation, and brightness. Proc Natl Acad Sci 103: 6013–6018
.  Howe CQ, Lotto RB, Purves D (2006) Comparison of bayesian and empirical ranking approaches to visual perception. J Theor Biol 241: 866–875
.  Boots B, Nundy S, Purves D (2007) Evolution of visually-guided behavior in artificial agents. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 18 (1): 1–24
.  Ross D, Choi J, Purves D (2007) Musical intervals in speech. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104(23): 9852–9857
.  Wojtach WT, Sung K, Truong S, Purves D (2008) An empirical explanation of the flash-lag effect. Proc Natl Acad Sci 105(42): 16338–16343
.  Sung K, Wojtach WT, Purves D (2009) An empirical explanation of aperture effects. Proc Natl Acad Sci 106: 298–303
.  Wojtach WT, Sung K, Purves D (2009) An empirical explanation of the speed-distance effect. PLoS ONE 4(8): e6771
.  Gill KZ and Purves D (2009) A biological rationale for musical scales. PLoS ONE 4: e8144
.  Bowling DL, Gill KZ, Choi JD, Prinz J, and Purves D (2010) Major and minor music compared to excited and subdued speech. J Acoust Soc Am 127(1): 491–503.
.  Purves D, Wojtach WT, Lotto RB (2011) Understanding vision in wholly empirical terms. Proc Natl Acad Sci Early Edition: 1-8.
 Han Se, Sundararajan J, Bowling DL, Lake J, Purves D (2011) Co-variation of tonality in the music and speech of different cultures. PLoS ONE 6(5):e20160.
 Bowling D, Sundararajan J, Han Se (2012) Expression of Emotion in Eastern and Western music mirrors vocalization. PLoS ONE 7(3): e31942.
 Ng C, Sundararajan J, Hogan M, Purves D (2013) Network Connections That Evolve to Circumvent the Inverse Optics Problem. PLoS ONE 8(3): e60490. 1. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060490
 Monson BB, Han S, Purves D (2013) Are Auditory Percepts Determined by Experience? PLoS ONE 8(5): e63728. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063728
 Purves D, Monson BB, Sundararajan J, Wojtach WT, (2014). How biological vision succeeds in the physical world. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111: 4750-4755
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]
Dale Purves Papers at Duke University Medical Center Archives
International Cognition and Culture (2012) Emotion in Eastern and Western Music: March 20
Eurekalert! (2012) Emotional expression in music and speech share similar tonal properties: March 14
ScienceDaily (2012) Emotional expression in music and speech share similar tonal properties: March 14
Scientific American (2012) Emotion in music mirrors speech, 21 (audio): March 21
Science Update (2012) Emotional Music: April 17
The Straits Times (2010) The (vowel) sounds of music. Newshub
Alleyne, R (2009) Music mimics the emotion of speech. The Telegraph: December 14
Bates, KL (2009) The biological link between music and speech. Duke News and Communications: December 3
Choi, CQ (2009) News Scan Briefs: Explaining the aperture illusion. Scientific American: March 29
Daily News and Analysis (2009) Musical chords mimic the emotion of speech: December 15
The Biology of music: why we like what we like: December 14
Purves, D (2009) The visual system and the brain: Hubel and Wiesel Redux: December 21
Vieru, T (2009) Music, Emotions and Speech form a whole. Softpedia: December 3
Davidson Films (2008) Making sense of sensory information, featuring Dale Purves (short clip taken from the original film)
Duke Medicine News and Communications (2008) Duke team Explains Longtime visual puzzler in new way: October 13
Kruglinski, S (2008) Musical scales mimic of language. Discover Magazine- 100 Top Science Stories of 2007: January
Science News(2008) Scientists explain the 'flash-lag' effect. United Press International: October
Than, K (2008) In search of music's biological roots. Duke Magazine: May-June
Bates, KL (2007) The Essential tones of Music rooted in Human Speech: May 25
Jackson, J (2007) "Virtual Robots" befuddled by optical illusions. National Geographic News: October 11
Lodriguss, J (2007) Color in Astronomical Images. Astropix.com
Purves, D (2007) Tones of Music Rooted in Human Speech. ClassBrain.com: May 24
Scenta (2007) Music Tones in Speech
ScienceDaily (2007) Essential tones of music rooted in human speech: May 24
Tenenbaum, David (2007) Music: The Universal Scale. The Why Files: June 7
Hareyan, A (2006) Brain Statistics help humans perceive hue, saturation and brightness: April 6
Meredith, D (2005) New book explains age-old mystery of geometrical illusions. Duke News Releases: September 30
Haseltine, E (2004) Why your brain doesn’t always make the right decision. Discover magazine: February 5
Ackerman, SJ (2003) Optical illusions: why do we see the way we do? Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bulletin 16(2): 37
Der Spiegel (2003) Der mensch spricht in Tonleitern, Spiegel Online: August 6
Duke Medicine News and Communications (2003) Vision is a ‘reflex’, says new book: January 3
El Mundo (2003) Escuchamos con la memoria. elmundosalud.com: August 7
Farley, P (2003) Musical roots may lie in human voice. Newscientist.com: August 3
Folha (2003) Estrutura de tons da musica surgiu da voz humana, sugere estudo. Folha Online: August 6
Kenneally, C (2003) Songs of ourselves. Boston Globe: November 9
Melville, K (2003) Catchy tunes have a common denominator: 7 August
Meredith, D (2003) Solving the mystery of musical harmony: Insights from a study of speech. Duke News Releases: August 5
Preidt, R (2003) The Biology of Distance Perception. HealthScout web report
How We See (2002) Transcript from News Hour with Jim Lehrer that aired December 25th
Purves D, Lotto RB, Nundy S (2002) Why we see what we do. American Scientist 90(3): 236-243
Meredith, D (2000) Color scheme: new vision theory states perception of color depends on neural 'reflexes.' Dialogue: Duke University 5:3
Meredith, D (2000) Tricking the eye or trapping a reflex: vision revisited. Duke Magazine: July-August
Works by or about Dale Purves in libraries ( WorldCat catalog)