Prof. Christoph Herrmann
(University of Oldenburg, Germany)
Prof. Charles E. Schroeder
(Columbia University, USA)
Prof. Daniel C. Javitt
(The Nathan Kline Institute, USA)
"Seeing seems effortless, despite needing to segregate and integrate visual information that varies in its quality, quantity, and location. The extent to which seeing passively recapitulates the external world is challenged by phenomena such as illusory contours, an example of visual completion whereby borders are perceived despite their physical absence in the image. Instead, visual completion and seeing are increasingly conceived as active processes, dependent on information exchange across neural populations. How this is instantiated in the brain remains controversial. Divergent models emanate from single-unit and population-level electrophysiology, neuroimaging, and neurostimulation studies. Our work strives to reconcile discrepant findings from different methods and disciplines, and underscores the importance of taking into account spatio-temporal brain dynamics in generating models of brain function and perception." (from Murray & Herrmann 2013 TiCS)
Aside from examining these processes in the healthy brain, our work likewise investigates these processes in neuropsychiatric disorders including psychosis, schizophrenia, and mood disorders as part of the Swiss National Center of Excellence NCCR-SYNAPSY. The underlying hypothesis is that these disorders include impairments in low-level sensory processes that indeed may serve as biomarkers.
Most recently, we have begun an intensive collaboration with the Hôpital ophtalmique Jules-Gonin located in Lausanne, Switzerland to evaluate visual functions and their rehabilitation in patients with impaired vision.