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Richard Latto

Richard Latto's Research Interests

As part of the Visual Perception Group at Liverpool (see left), my research is in the psychological and neural mechanisms of visual perception, particularly spatial perception. Current work centres on the role of binocular disparity in size judgements and the size distortions inherent in the synoptic views of objects provided by television and photography. Other interests include the psychology of the visual arts, investigating the relationship between mechanisms in visual perception and the selection and manipulation of images by artists.

Photographs generate distorted perceptions of shape:

from Latto & Harper (2007)

Digitally generated photographic representations of a manikin taken from a) 1 metre and b) 30 metres. A real manikin viewed in a real scene with distance cues indicating these distances would not look distorted because of shape constancy. In a photograph we usually have no idea of the camera-to-subject distance and shape constancy breaks down:

    Here a figure is photographed from exactly the same angle but again from a) 1 metre and b) 30 metres.

    So Mantegna, used to painting frescos designed to be seen at a distance, painted his Lamentation over the Dead Christ with the accurate geometry of a body viewed from a distance but like the photographs above it is usually described, incorrectly, as distorted:

Selected Publications

    Bennett, K.M., Latto, R., Bertamini, M., Bianchi, I. & Minshull, S. (2010) Does left-right orientation matter in the perceived expressiveness of pictures? A study of Bewick's animals (1753-1828). Perception, 39, 970-981.

    Latto, J. & Latto, R. (2009) Study Skills for Psychology Students. McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, Maidenhead, U.K..

    Latto, R. & Harper, B. (2007) The non-realistic nature of photography: Further reasons why Turner was wrong. Leonardo, 40, 243-247.

    Latto, R. (2007, August) Psychology: Opportunity or problem. CaSE Newsletter, 10-11.

    Latto, R. (2004) Form follows function in visual information processing. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 43-44.

    Latto, R. (2004) Do we like what we see? In: G. Malcolm (Ed.), Multidisciplinary Approaches to Visual Representations and Interpretations, Elsevier, Amsterdam. 343-356.

    Bertamini, M., Latto, R. & Spooner, A. (2003) The Venus effect: People's understanding of mirror reflections in paintings. Perception, 32, 593-599.

    Marco Bertamini has a page dedicated to the Venus Effect: Click here

    Latto, R. & Russell-Duff, K. (2002) An oblique effect in the selection of line orientations by twentieth century painters. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 20, 49-60.

    Harper, B. & Latto, R. (2001) Cyclopean vision, size estimation and presence in orthostereoscopic images. Presence, 10, 312-330.

    Latto, R., Brain, D. & Kelly. B. (2000) An oblique effect in aesthetics. Homage to Mondrian (1872-1944). Perception, 29, 981-987.

    Latto, R. (1996) Turning the other cheek: Profile direction in self-portraiture. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 14, 89-98.

    Barrow, C.J. and Latto, R. (1996) The role of inferior parietal cortex and fornix in route following and topographic orientation in cynomolgus monkeys. Behavioural Brain Research, 75, 99-112.

    Latto, R., (1995) The brain of the beholder. In: R.L. Gregory, J. Harris, P. Heard, & D. Rose (Eds.), The Artful Eye, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 66-94.

    Latto, R., (1991) Mind in the laboratory. In: R. Tallis and H. Robinson (Eds.), The Pursuit of Mind, Carcanet Press, Manchester, pp. 57-69.

    Latto, R. (1988) Making decisions about the conscious experiences of animals. Behavioural and Political Animal Studies, 1, 7-16.

    Traverse, J. & Latto, R. (1986) Impairments in route negotiation through a maze after dorsolateral frontal, inferior parietal, or pre-motor lesions in cynomolgus monkeys. Behavioural Brain Research, 20, 203-215.

    Latto, R. (1985) The role of the inferior parietal cortex and frontal eye-fields in visuospatial discriminations in the macaque monkey. Behavioural Brain Research, 22, 41-52.

    Campion, J. & Latto, R. (1985) Apperceptive agnosia due to carbon monoxide poisoning: an interpretation based on critical band masking by disseminated lesions. Behavioural Brain Research, 15, 227-240.

    Campion, J., & Latto, R. (1985) What is blindsight? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8, 755-757.

    Latto, R., Campion, J., Smith, Y.M. and Traverse, J. (1984) The integration of clinical and experimental investigations of primate visual perception. In: F. Reinoso-Suarez and C. Ajmone-Marsan (Eds.), Cortical Integration, IBRO Monograph Series, 11, Raven Press, New York, pp. 379-393.

    Campion, J., Latto, R. & Smith, Y.M. (1983) Is blindsight an effect of scattered light, spared cortex, and near-threshold vision? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 6, 423-486.

    Latto, R. (1982) Visual perception and oculomotor areas in the primate brain. In: D.J. Ingle, R.J.W. Mansfield and M.A. Goodale (Eds.), Analysis of Visual Behavior, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, pp. 671-691.

    Collin, N.G., Cowey, A., Latto, R. & Marzi, C. (1982) The role of frontal eye-fields and superior colliculi in visual search and non-visual search in rhesus monkeys. Behavioural Brain Research, 4, 177-193.

    Latto, R. (1978) The effects of bilateral frontal eye-field, posterior parietal or superior collicular lesions on visual search in the rhesus monkey. Brain Research, 146, 35-50.

    Latto, R. (1978) The effects of bilateral frontal eye-field lesions on the learning of a visual search task by rhesus monkeys. Brain Research, 147, 370-376.

    Latto, R. (1977) The effects of bilateral frontal eye-field, posterior parietal or superior collicular lesions on brightness thresholds in the rhesus monkey. Neuropsychologia, 15, 507-516.

    Latto, R. and Cowey, A. (1972) Frontal eye-field lesions in monkeys. In: J. Dichgans and E. Bizzi (Eds.), The Cerebral Control of Eye Movements and Motion Perception, S. Karger, Basel, pp. 159-168.

    Latto, R., (1971) Visual search in monkeys. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 32, 307-313.

    Latto, R. and Cowey, A. (1971) Visual field defects after frontal eye-field lesions in monkeys. Brain Research, 30, 1-24.

    Latto, R. and Cowey, A. (1971) Fixation changes after frontal eye-field lesions in monkeys. Brain Research, 30, 25-36.

    Barnes, P.J., Smith, L.M. and Latto, R., (1970) Orientation to visual stimuli and the superior colliculus in the rat. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 22, 239-247.