Abtine Tavassoli
Abtine Tavassoli, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Human Factors & Industrial Engineering
  • Los Angeles

Dr. Tavassoli has expertise in human perception, attention, eye movements, sensory-motor integration, cognition, decision-making, visual search, and signal and image/video processing. He uses his knowledge and experience to investigate a variety of human performance issues including automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, train/railroad, pedestrian and trucking accidents; trips and falls; safety- and health-related use of consumer and industrial products; and industrial and occupational accidents. He was a contributing author for the fourth edition of Forensic Aspects of Driver Perception and Response, a comprehensive reference book on driver behavior. In particular, he co-authored the chapter on driver eye movements and visual attention.

Dr. Tavassoli employs in his work a wide range of analysis tools including programming custom software: to evaluate and accurately capture visibility and conspicuity, e.g. for low-visibility/nighttime accidents; to examine eye/head movement behavior of drivers; to quantify the detection/distinguishability of sounds; and to study driver perception and behavior. Additionally, he routinely applies the human-factors and cognitive-psychology literature to address technical questions related to warnings compliance, visual perception and human behavior.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Tavassoli was a postdoctoral scholar in the departments of Neurobiology and Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He studied the characteristics of human eye movements used to track slowly moving objects, and developed a model to accurately predict such eye movements. He has also conducted eye movement, performance monitoring and memory studies in epileptic patients in which he correlated neuronal activity with behavior. His doctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin centered on the study of human eye movement strategies during visual search.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Neurobiology and Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2012
  • Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, 2007
  • M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, 2002
  • Diplôme d'Ingénieur, Electrical Engineering, Polytech Lille, France, 2001
  • Elsevier Recognized Reviewer, 2016

    UCLA Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research, Neurobiology Nominee, 2012

    AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, 2010–2012

    University of California, Los Angeles Brain Research Institute & Semel Institute Postdoctoral Travel Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, 2009

    Computational Neuroscience: Vision, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Travel Scholarship, 2008

    Center for Perceptual Systems Student Travel Grant, University of Texas at Austin, 2006

    College of Engineering Scholarship, University of Texas at Austin, 2002–2004

    Phi Kappa Phi, 2003

    Ramshorn Award for Project in Digital Image Processing, University of Texas at Austin, 2001

    IMCC Consortium Travel Scholarship, 2000

Publications

Todd JJ, Barakat B, Tavassoli A, Krauss DA. The moon’s contribution to nighttime illuminance in different environments. Proceedings, 59th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Los Angeles, CA, 2015.

Lopour B, Tavassoli A, Fried I, Ringach DL. Coding of Information in the Phase of Local Field Potentials within Human Medial Temporal Lobe, Neuron 2013; 79:3, 594-606.

Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. When your eyes see more than you do. Current Biology 2010; 20:3, R93-94.

Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. Dynamics of smooth pursuit maintenance. Journal of Neurophysiology 2009; 102:1, 110-118.

Tavassoli A, van der Linde I, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. Eye movements selective for spatial frequency and orientation during active visual search. Vision Research 2009; 49:2, 173-181. (Science Direct Top 25 Hottest Articles, Jan.-Mar. 2009).

Tavassoli A. Discovery and representation of human strategies for visual search. Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, December 2007.

Tavassoli A, van der Linde I, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. Orientation anisotropies in visual search revealed by noise. Journal of Vision 2007; 7(12):11, 1-8.

Tavassoli A, van der Linde I, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. An efficient technique for revealing visual search strategies with classification images. Perception & Psychophysics 2007; 69:1, 103-112.

Tavassoli A, Becker MF. Optical correlation of frequency-shifted images in a photorefractive BSO correlator. Applied Optics 2004; 43:8, 1695-1702.

Tavassoli A. Photorefractive optical correlators: application to frequency-shifted signal detection. Master’s Thesis, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, May 2002.

Books


Forensic Aspects of Driver Perception and Response. 4th Edition, Krauss D (ed), Tucson, AZ: Lawyers and Judges Publishing Company, Inc., 2015 (contributing author).

Presentations and Posters

Frey JR, Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. Relative contributions of stimulus motion and VOR to eye movement during gaze pursuit. Vision Sciences Society, Naples, FL, 2012.

Lopour B, Tavassoli A, Fried I, Ringach DL. Phase coherence of field potentials facilitates prediction of single-trial outcome in a memory task. Computational and Systems Neuroscience, Salt Lake City, UT, 2012.

Tavassoli A, Lopour B, Suthana N, Fried I, Ringach DL. Performance-related signals in the human brain. Human Single Unit, New York, NY, 2011.

Lopour B, Tavassoli A, Fried I, Ringach DL. Low frequency phase of the local field potential predicts single-trial outcome in the human brain. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC, 2011.

Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. Your eyes see more than you in a velocity discrimination task. Workshop on Natural Environments Tasks and Intelligence, Austin, TX, 2010.

Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. Smooth pursuit eye movements: dynamics and relation with perception. Computational Neuroscience Affinity Group, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2010.

Tavassoli A, Lopour B, Fried I, Ringach DL. Single-trial feedback signals in the human brain. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, 2010.

Frey JR, Tavassoli A, Fried I, Ringach DL. Dynamics of coordinated head and eye visual tracking. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, 2010.

Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. Your eyes know more than you: higher oculometric than psychometric performance in a velocity discrimination task. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, 2009.

Tavassoli A, Ringach DL. White noise analysis of smooth pursuit eye movements. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C., 2008.

Tavassoli A, van der Linde I, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. Selectivity for multiple orientations in visual search. Vision Sciences Society, Naples, FL 2008.

Sapkota R, Pardhan S, Tavassoli A, van der Linde I.Visual short-term memory for unfamiliar visual stimuli. British Congress of Optometry and Vision Sciences, United Kingdom, 2008.

Tavassoli A, van der Linde I, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. Noise unveils spatial frequency and orientation selectivity during visual search. Vision Sciences Society, Sarasota, FL, 2006.

van der Linde I, Tavassoli A, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. Classification images reveal observer templates underlying the direct tilt illusion”, Vision Sciences Society, Sarasota, FL, 2006.

Tavassoli A, van der Linde I, Bovik AC, Cormack LK. The efficient use of classification images for the psychophysical investigation of visual search. AVA Xmas Meeting, United Kingdom, 2004.

Tavassoli A, Cormack LK, Bovik AC. Classification images for motion perception. Houston Society for Engineering in Medicine and Biology, Houston, TX, 2004.

Tavassoli A, Palmer CR, Cormack LK. Frequency and space domain classification images for motion detection. Vision Sciences Society, Sarasota, FL, 2003.


Professional Affiliations

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (member)

Society for Automobile Engineers (member)

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Accident Analysis & Prevention

Attention Perception & Psychophysics

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing

Journal of Vision

Pattern Recognition

Vision Research

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Neurobiology and Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 2012
  • Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, 2007
  • M.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, 2002
  • Diplôme d'Ingénieur, Electrical Engineering, Polytech Lille, France, 2001
  • Elsevier Recognized Reviewer, 2016

    UCLA Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research, Neurobiology Nominee, 2012

    AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science, 2010–2012

    University of California, Los Angeles Brain Research Institute & Semel Institute Postdoctoral Travel Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, 2009

    Computational Neuroscience: Vision, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Travel Scholarship, 2008

    Center for Perceptual Systems Student Travel Grant, University of Texas at Austin, 2006

    College of Engineering Scholarship, University of Texas at Austin, 2002–2004

    Phi Kappa Phi, 2003

    Ramshorn Award for Project in Digital Image Processing, University of Texas at Austin, 2001

    IMCC Consortium Travel Scholarship, 2000