For studies of brain function, we train macaque monkeys because they are the best animal models for human vision. In the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and visual cortex, ultrafine electrodes are used to record extracellularly the activity of single and multiple neurons while the monkeys perform tasks that control their behavior. Then we record neuronal responses during natural viewing of images of natural scenes, such as vegetation. One goal of these experiments is to learn how eye movements shape the responses of visual neurons when viewing natural objects. These experiments are expected to be completed by the end of May, 2015.
In a broader context, we are interested in how primate visual systems evolved in response to selection pressures related to foraging for food, and other survival activities. To consider these issues, we observe primates in natural habitats and measure optical properties of their environments and important objects. Our goal is to relate the function and organization of the visual system to the properties of these natural stimuli. There may be opportunities for assisting with collecting data and/or analyzing data from these field studies.
Affiliated Research Units
International Research: Regions of Academic Interest
International Information: Countries of Academic Interest
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