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Lab news

New paper

Science Posted on Mon, November 16, 2015 12:15:00

Role of oculoproprioception in coding the locus of attention.

Barthel Odoj and Daniela Balslev’s paper has just been accepted for publication in Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. This means two things:
1. Barthel’s PhD thesis is now ready to be submitted (fingers crossed!).
2. We are closer to understanding how eye and attention are related. The paper shows that the feedback signals from the eye movements (oculoproprioception) is incorporated into attention maps to align retinotopic snapshots to the world. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the somatosensory cortex perturbs this signal and cause a 1 degree error in the perceived angle of gaze. The same intervention diverts attention away by 1 degree away from a target, without affecting the ability to locate the target for reaching. Feedback signals from eye movement appear more important for perception, whereas action relies more on the predictive signals, presumably because of the neural processing speed constraints.

PhD scholarship available

Science Posted on Mon, November 16, 2015 11:50:34

Subcortical pathways for the gaze direction signals

We are advertising a 4-year PhD scholarship starting in September 2016 at the University of St Andrews. The fMRI project will identify subcortical structures that carry gaze direction signals for visual localization and spatial attention. The project is at the interface between cognitive neuroscience and medical physics. The student will be supervised by Dr Daniela Balslev from the University of St Andrews and Dr Ian Cavin from the University of Dundee & NHS Tayside Department of Medical Physics.

The project

How to apply