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Neuroscience researchers awarded nearly $2 million by National Institutes of Health to study visual processing

November 28, 2022

Jordan Hamm, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Georgia State University, has received a five-year, $1.93 million award from the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Hamm and his co-investigator, Darcy Peterka of Columbia University, will examine how the brain processes and responds to visual information. Their findings could provide insight into diagnosing and treating psychiatric disorders.

“The project aims to better understand how the brain builds predictions about visual information it thinks it’s going to see and, notably, how it detects when stimuli in the visual field deviate from its expectation,” Hamm said.

When the brain recognizes that its prediction differs from reality, a process known as deviance detection, it uses the new information to adjust its previous understanding. Predictive processing helps the brain make sense of the world.

Some neurological and psychiatric disorders are characterized by deficits in these functions.