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.
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.
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.
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.
The purpose of this research study is to use the spectral electroretinogram (ERG) to deteremine how the retinal mechanisms of sufferers from abnormal light sensitivity due to head injury differ from those without abnormal light sensitivity.
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...
Recent studies have established that a high proportion of patients diagnosed with mild (or diffuse) traumatic brain injury (mTBI) exhibit binocular vision dysfunctions, particularly, deficiencies in the binocular coordination of eye movements.
This project is designed to advance the integration of high field fMRI in alert macaque monkeys with "informed" neurophysiology, and to apply it in addressing a long-standing research question regarding the neural processing of stereoscopic 3-D motion.
We propose a multidisciplinary approach to effective spatiomotor rehabilitation in blindness and visual impairment. For those who have lost vision, the eye-hand coordination normally available for the manipulation of objects for everyday activities is unavailable and has to be replaced by information from other senses
The multidisciplinary goal was to develop an integrated conceptualization of the mid-level encoding of 3D object structure from multiple surface cues