Lora Likova: MRI scanner, UCSF

Likova Lab

Brain Plasticity, Learning & Neurorehabilitation

The research in my Lab is focused on the fields of neuroplasticity, brain mechanisms of art and learning, neurorehabilitation of blindness, memory and spatial cognition, navigation, vision deficits in TBI, and multimodal sensorimotor processing across levels of visual impairment. For this research we integrate multiple brain imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), tensor-based brain morphometry (TBM), and electroencephalography (EEG), as well as virtual reality, motion-capture, and specialized remote-research systems. 


Journal Articles
Tyler, C. W., & Likova, L. T.. (2022). Brain trauma impacts retinal processing: photoreceptor pathway interactions in traumatic light sensitivity. Documenta Ophthalmologica, 144, 1–12. http://doi.org/doi.org/10.1007/s10633-022-09871-1
Karim, R., Prativa, S., & Likova, L. T.. (2021). Perception and Appreciation of Tactile Objects: The Role of Visual Experience and Texture Parameters. Special Issue On Multisensory And Crossmodal Interactions, Jpi. Editors: Likova, L.t., Jiang, F., Stilles, N., Tanguay, A.r.
Likova, L. T., Mei, M., Mineff, K. N., & Nicholas, S. C.. (2019). Learning face perception without vision: Rebound learning effect and hemispheric differences in congenital vs late-onset blindness. Imaging Science And Technology: Human Vision And Electronic Imaging. http://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2470-1173.2019.12.HVEI-237 Human Vision and Electronic Imaging 2019
Karim, R., & Likova, L. T.. (2018). Haptic aesthetics in the blind: Behavioral and fMRI investigation. Imaging Science And Technology: Human Vision And Electronic Imaging, 532: 1-10. http://doi.org/DOI: 10.2352/ISSN.2470-1173.2018.14.HVEI-532
Conference Papers
Likova, L. T. (2020). Face perception as a multisensory process. In Multisensory and Crossmodal Interactions, at IS&T HVEI. Multisensory and Crossmodal Interactions, at IS&T HVEI: Burlingame, California. Retrieved from https://www.imaging.org/site/IST/Conferences/EI/EI_2020/Conference/C_HVEI.aspx
Other Publications
Tyler, C. W., & Likova, L. T.. (2014). The neurometabolic underpinnings of fMRI BOLD dynamics. In Advanced Brain Neuroimaging Topics in Health and Disease-Methods and Applications:. InTech. http://doi.org/10.5772/58274
  • Brain image with activated brain seen through a transparent skull

    Smith-Kettlewell Brain Imaging Center

    The Smith-Kettlewell Brain Imaging Center supports a wide variety of human brain imaging modalities, including MRI, MRI morphometry, functional MRI, fMR Iretonogrphy, fMRI dynamics, functional connectivity, Granger-causal connectivity, DTI, DTI tractography, whole-head EEG, EEG functional connectivity, ERG, EEG eye tracking, electroblepharography, etc. Our work centers on human visual neuroscience and computational vision, especially in the areas of human visual processing in adults, of the diagnosis of eye diseases and cortical deficits in infants and adults, on brain plasticity in relation to low vision and blindness, and on the processes of blindness rehabilitation. We are particularly interested in the normal capabilities of binocular visual processing and its disruption by forms of traumatic brain injury.

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  • Venn diagram of the multidisciplinary approach to this clinical trial on blind navigation.

    Advanced Spatiomotor Rehabilitation for Navigation in Blindness & Visual Impairment

    Successful navigation requires the development of an accurate and flexible mental, or cognitive, map of the navigational space and of the route trajectory required to travel from the current to the target location. The Cognitive-Kinesthetic (C-K) Rehabilitation Training that we have developed in the preceding period utilizes a unique form of blind memory-guided drawing to develop cognitive mapping to a high level of proficiency.

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  • Brain activation & suppression during blindfolded memory-guided drawing; the primary visual cortex (V1) is isolated by profound extrastriate suppression.

    Harnessing the Power of Drawing for the Enhancement of Learning across Levels of Vision Function

    Recent scientific findings about art and drawing suggest that drawing can facilitate learning in a wide variety of domains. The proposed collaboration will develop an interdisciplinary research program aimed at harnessing the power of drawing to enhance learning across fields of intellectual endeavor.

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    Mechanisms of Photophobia in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Human Subjects: Therapeutic Implications

    The purpose of this grant is to identify the mechanisms responsible for generating photophobia in patients who have suffered mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Currently, estimates indicate that this painful condition persists in about 60% of those who suffered from blast-related traumatic brain injury and 30% of those who suffered non-blast-related concussive injuries.

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  • Causal Brain Connectivity between Hippocampus and Early Visual Subareas in Memory-Visualization

    SL-CN: Harnessing the Power of Drawing for the Enhancement of Learning across Levels of Vision Function

    This Science of Learning Collaborative Network brings together researchers and experts from the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, University of Bamberg (Germany), Columbia University and Emory University to investigate how the visual art of drawing can enhance learning. Underlying learning principles and neural mechanisms will be considered, and how these can be harnessed for real-life learning enhancement. Though humans have been drawing for at least 30,000 years, little is understood about brain processes involved in this activity.

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