Bruce  Cumming, M.D. Ph.D.

Senior Investigator:

Chief:

Research interests: Binocular vision

Contact Information: 301-496-9375

Building 49, Room 2A50
49 Convent Drive
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4435

Biography

Dr. Cumming studied medicine at Oxford in the UK, and went on to do a D.Phil there studying brainstem neurons that control convergence eye movements. As a postdoctoral fellow with Andrew Parker (also in Oxford) he went on to study the perceptual properties of stereopisis in human subjects, before establishing a laboratory that studied single neurons in awake animals. Dr. Cumming joined the NEI in 2000, and became chief of the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research in 2006.

Current research

Our laboratory uses binocular vision as a model system in which to explore the relationship between the activity in single cortical neurons and conscious perception. Binocular vision is an attractive model system because it poses problems that are very well understood computationally. How these problems are solved with neural hardware therefore offers a good way to understand the nature of computations performed by the cerebral cortex. This is pursued by combining single neuron recordings in awake, behaving monkeys, psychophysical experiments in both the animals and in human observers, and computational modeling. The combination of single-unit recording, simultaneous psychophysical judgments from the animal, and modern analytical techniques allows us to gain detailed insights into the connections between the activity of single brain neurons and perceptual experience.

 

Last updated: August 7, 2020