About our work
Vision is an active process that starts in the eye, but is mostly accomplished by circuits of neurons in the central visual system. Unlike a camera, which records images without understanding what is there, our brain actively constructs our perception of the world based upon what we know through experience, in addition to what we sense through our eyes. A crucial aspect of this process is the selective filtering of visual information, which is accomplished in two ways. The first is to move the eyes to control how images fall on the retina of the eye. The second is to internally select some of the visual signals for further processing, while excluding others - this is known as visual attention. The long-term goal of our section is to understand the brain mechanisms that mediate these processes of eye movements and attention. Our current work focuses on visual spatial attention, which is affected in several prevalent brain disorders, including autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Using a range of neurophysiological, computational, and cellular techniques, in humans, non-human primates and mice, we aim to understand how these neuronal circuits operate under normal conditions and to identify how breakdowns in these mechanisms cause disorders of sensory-motor coordination.