Learning in the Sighted and the Blind through Different Sensory Modalities: Structure and Dynamics of Cortical Reorganization

This project focuses on the emerging area of the neuroscience of art learning. It addresses the important issue of how the brain learns complex skills, specifically the process of drawing, through two different sensory modalities. Visual art, and drawing in particular, engages an orchestrated system of cognitive elements extending beyond mere visual perception. This brain system involves an array of cross-cognitive interactions for advanced learning in diverse sensory environments. However, there is a lack of systematic studies of the neural mechanisms of learning in visual art, or of the…

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.

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.