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Visual Circuits Section

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.

Visual Circuits Section key staff

Key staff table
Name Title Email Phone
Richard Krauzlis, Ph.D. Senior Investigator 301-496-9375

News from this lab

Three soccer players on a field. Center player looks down at the ball by her feet.

Attention to objects in peripheral vision is not driven by tiny eye movements

New research by National Eye Institute (NEI) investigators shows that while microsaccades seem to boost or diminish the strength of the brain signals underlying attention, eye movements are not drivers of those brain signals.
Slice of brain scan showing highlights in the cortex

NIH researchers discover brain area crucial for recognizing visual events

Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) report that a brain region in the superior temporal sulcus (fSTS) is crucial for processing and making decisions about visual information.
Grayscale slice of mouse brain with neurons highlighted

It’s now or never: Visual events have 100 milliseconds to hit brain target or go unnoticed

Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) have defined a crucial window of time that mice need to key in on visual events.

Last updated: June 9, 2023