This year's meeting of the Vision Sciences Society (VSS) has ended, and I've just flown back from sunny Florida where it's held and have now had a chance to reflect upon the week. Leaving Florida was bittersweet because I had to say goodbye to a lot friends I only see once a year at that conference, as well as some great people I was only just getting to know.
As always, the conference was exhausting, but utterly enjoyable. The representation of different research interests grew as it does every year, and I think all parts of the visual system were well covered. I presented some as yet unpublished results about how visual crowding is influenced by smooth pursuit eye movements. I won't write more about that stuff specifically, but you can download the poster from here, and I'll write a summary when the full paper is published (which will hopefully be soon).
I highly recommend VSS to students interested in Anything Vision. The conference is small enough that you can get a good sense of the main research questions that other groups are investigating, and there are many opportunities to meet pretty much _everyone_ you want to. Because we're left to our own devices to discover the best methods to address our research questions, going to international conferences is a great way to get a comprehensive overview of the diversity of the most up-to-date approaches. This is especially important considering it takes months or years for a full paper to be published. I'm particularly interested in eye movements, and there were some really cool new methods and analyses being used that I find exciting and will start using in the near future.
If you've never been and you're interested in vision research, I strongly recommend you make your way there and present something at VSS. It may not be the conference for you in the long run, but you'll almost certainly get something positive out of it.