Sergei is a member of the Center for Neurobiology of Vision at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, where he studies boundaries of visual perception in the natural world and in visual media using methods of sensory psychophysics and computational neuroscience. Sergei also directs the Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies, which he founded at the Salk Institute with the goal to translate results of basic research to a wide range of applications: from immersive visual technologies and adaptive sighting devices to architecture, urban design, and forensic science.
Before joining the Salk Institute, Sergei investigated stereoscopic vision and interaction of vision and haptic sense at the University of California, Berkeley, and then studied computational principles of perceptual organization and pattern visibility at RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan. Sergei’s research received grants and awards from the Swartz Foundation for Computational Neuroscience Research (USA), the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (Japan), the National Science Foundation (USA), and the National Institutes of Health (USA).
Sergei is increasingly involved in research of built environments and design of immersive media, as a founding member of the 5D|World Building Institute and as an inaugural recipient of the Harold Hay Award from the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, ANFA. He recently joined the Board of Directors of ANFA to help advance a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment using the exacting tools of experimental psychology and neuroscience.
In 2015 Sergei teamed up with the renown narrative designer Alex McDowell to found the Center for Spatial Perception and Concrete Experience (SPaCE) at the University of Southern California, for which Sergei serves as the director. The Center concentrates on developing new forms of physical, immersive, and environmental media, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and beyond. As an ArtScience research center, and a center of learning and excellence, SPaCE connects partners that include global leaders from academia, industry, and government.