Visual Neuroscience Laboratory

Computational neuroimaging of human visual perception

Research in my lab is focused on the neuronal mechanisms of human visual perception, studied using a combination of physiological measurements (principally functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI) and behavioural measurements (psychophysics).

One of the goals of my research is to understand the mechanisms underlying our ability to recognize and perceive objects regardless of viewing conditions, and how this relates to the way shapes are represented in cortical neuronal networks. The mechanisms underlying this ability are likely to involve neuronal processing in 'intermediate' visual areas between the early representations in the lateral geniculate nucleus and primary visual cortex, and the high-level representations in inferotemporal cortex (or its equivalent in the human brain). Because little is known about both the function and organisation of these intermediate visual areas in the human brain, part of my research involves trying to identify and characterise these areas in the human visual cortex and as a corollary, gain a better understanding of the organisation of the human visual cortex. Ultimately, by characterising the response properties of neuronal populations in different visual areas, it will be possible to understand the processing mechanisms carried out by different areas and populations in the context of object recognition.

The analysis of anatomical and functional MRI data requires specialised software and analysis tools. Development of such "computational neuroimaging" tools is an important component of my research, and some of this software is available for download (see Software tab).