Promise project nominated

The Promise project, a collaboration of UMCG’s LEO, Royal Dutch Visio, the RUG, and Reperio has been nominated for the Health Valley Bridge price. The price highlights projects that use technology to ensure longer independent living. The SONDA technology for … Continued

Blurred emotions

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Sensory loss in either the eyes or the ears affects our ability to recognize emotions, but does loss in both eyes and ears further worsen our ability to interpret multisensory signals? In a recent paper published in the journal “Vision … Continued

With an eye to the future

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University Medical Centre Groningen’s (UMCG) Laboratory of Experimental Ophthalmology (LEO) and Bulbitech AS to collaborate on the evaluation of eye-movement based ophthalmic screening techniques. Facilitated by an equipment grant from the UMCG, the Laboratory of Experimental Ophthalmology (LEO) has signed … Continued

Congratulations, dr. Alessandro!

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Congratulations to Alessandro Grillini for successfully defending his PhD thesis entitled ‘Spatio-Temporal Integration Properties of the Human Visual System’. Alessandro defended his thesis on the 11th of November 2020 under tight Covid-19 related restrictions that prevented an audience and most … Continued

Grant for new eye tracking equipment

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The UMCG awarded the Laboratory of Experimental Ophthalmology a grant (€20.000) that will enable it to buy new eye tracking technology. Specifically, it will allow us to buy the Pupil Invisible, a system that promises calibration free eye tracking, as … Continued

Imaging nerve breakdown

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Assessing the integrity of the optic nerve (ON), the first section of the neural wiring between the eye and the brain, is important in ophthalmology for diagnostic purposes and follow-up. Commonly, this is done using optical coherence tomography (OCT), yet … Continued

Go with the flow!

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Can the directionality of BOLD activity, as measured using fMRI, provide meaningful information at a very fine scale? In a recent paper, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, Nicolas Gravel and colleagues show that it does. Using advanced models, they … Continued

Outward bound receptive fields

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Does having a visual field defect affect the representation of the visual world in the human brain? In a paper in the journal “Neuroimage”, Gokhul Prabhakaran and colleagues report that it does. Using fMRI, they find that neurons in the … Continued

The eye exam of the future?

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Can an eye exam become literally as simple as watching a movie? In a recent paper in the Journal of Vision, Birte Gestefeld and colleagues show that the idea is perhaps not that far fetched. Based on the eye-movements made … Continued

Eyes on emotion

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The majority of emotional expressions used in daily communication are multimodal and dynamic in nature, but relatively little is known yet about how we adapt our perceptual strategies to the presence or absence of certain information. In a recent paper … Continued

Follow that car, eh, dot!

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What if an eye health exam could become as simple as following a moving and jumping dot on a screen for a few minutes? In a paper in the journal “Frontiers in Neurology”, Alessandro Grillini and co-authors show that the … Continued

Extent matters

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Using fMRI to determine the presence of actual cortical reorganization following ocular or cortical lesions requires being aware of many potential pitfalls. In a recent paper in the journal “Neuroimage”, Gokul Prabhakaran and co-authors report on one more such an … Continued

Congratulations, dr. Joana!

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Congratulations to Joana Carvalho for successfully defending her PhD thesis entitled ‘Plasticity of cortical visual field representations’. Joana defended her thesis on the 6th of July of 2020 and will continue her scientific career as a postdoctoral researcher at the … Continued

Can you see it all at once?

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Some people have trouble seeing multiple things at once and discovering relations between items in a scene. This is simultanagnosia. It can occur in patients with acquired brain injury. In the journal “Applied Neuropsychology: Adult”, Stefanie de Vries and colleagues … Continued

To train or not to train?

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Visual restitution training may improve the vision of people with hemianopia, yet not all patients benefit equally from this long and exhaustive procedure. Would it not be great if we could predict who will benefit and who will not? In … Continued

Tiny is beautiful!

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Assessing population receptive field (pRF) properties is fundamental to understanding the neural basis of human sensory and cognitive behaviour. However, current approaches require making numerous a priori assumptions which is undesirable. In a recent paper in the journal “Neuroimage” Joana … Continued

Connecting the dots

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When studying the plasticity of the human visual brain, neuroscientists have always emphasized the study of the receptive field properties of neurons. In a review and opinion paper in the journal “Neural Plasticity”, Joana Carvalho and co-authors argue there are … Continued

Sights unseen

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Visual hallucinations are perceptions without a physical stimulus to relate the percept too. People who suffer from psychosis often experience visual hallucinations, but the properties of these hallucinations are not well known yet. Marouska van Ommen and co-authors published a … Continued

Observing half a brain

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What happens to the visual system of the brain if one hemisphere gets removed completely at a late (age 3) developmental stage? In a paper published in the journal “Neural Plasticity”, Hinke Halbertsma and co-authors revisited the visual field maps … Continued

Art that moves you

posted in: Outreach | 0

On August 21st, Frans Cornelissen gave a presentation at the Noorderzon Festival in Groningen about “The Art of Vision”. The presentation was part of a trio of presentations together with Iris Sommer and Barend van Heusden under the title “Art … Continued

Our brain, art and visual illusions

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On June 17th, Hinke Halbertsma gave a presentation at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden about the visual system, and how illusions can be a powerful source for understanding it. Furthermore, she addressed how artists use this information by making paintings … Continued

Congratulations Dr. Nicolas Gravel!

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Congratulations to Nicolas Gravel for successfully defending his PhD thesis entitled ‘The Neuroanatomical Organization of Intrinsic Brain Activity Measured by fMRI in the Human Visual Cortex‘. Nicolas defended his thesis on the 18th of April 2018 and aims to continue his … Continued

Congratulations Dr. Sandra Hanekamp!

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Congratulations to Sandra Hanekamp for successfully completing her PhD thesis titled ‘Glaucoma: an eye or a brain disease’. Sandra defended her thesis on the 9th of October and is now going to be a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard University in Boston to study … Continued

Congratulations Dr. Aave Hannus!

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Congratulations to Aave Hannus for successfully completing her PhD thesis titled ‘Competition for feature selection: Action-related and stimulus-driven competitive biases in visual search’. Aave defended her thesis on the 21st of September 2017 and will continue to combine her position as … Continued

Clusters in visual cortex

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Does the human brain work in the same way when it is at rest as when it is being stimulated? In a paper published in “NeuroImage”, Nicolas Gravel and co-authors report that it does. They find that a new method … Continued

Brain reads “bar-codes”

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Did you know that your brain is able to read “bar-codes”? In a recently published paper in NeuroImage, Funda Yildirim and colleagues proved this point by mapping the visual cortex purely based on differences in the orientation of small stimulus components.  … Continued

Congratulations Dr. Barbara Nordhjem!

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Congratulations to Barbara Nordhjem for successfully completing her PhD thesis titled ‘Emerging perception: tracking the process of visual object recognition’. Barbara defended her thesis on the 10th of May and is now going to be a postdoctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute in … Continued

Brain changes through loosing an eye

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Does losing an eye change your brain? In a paper published in “Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS)”, Doety Prins and co-authors report that it does. Importantly, it results in degeneration that is specific to brain regions involved in depth … Continued

Congratulations Dr. Doety Prins!

posted in: PhD Defense | 0

Congratulations to Doety Prins for successfully completing her PhD thesis titled ‘Neuroanatomical changes in patients with loss of visual function’. Doety defended her thesis on the 23rd of November and is now training to become an ophthalmologist at the UMCG.

Aesthetics by Numbers

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Our world is filled with texture. For the human visual system, this is an important source of information for assessing environmental and material properties. But can we also predict – what seem to be very personal – aesthetic judgments such … Continued

Congratulations Dr. Funda!

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We are very happy to announce that our colleague Funda Yildirim successfully completed her PhD degree! Funda defended her thesis entitled “Visuospatial Perception: from Behavior to Brain” on the 29th of June. Now Funda will move to Boston where she will continue … Continued

Know what you see

posted in: Outreach | 0

During the upcoming weeks a series of lectures about vision will take place in Groningen. On Tuesday, second of February, Frans Cornelissen will give a lecture about Eyes Diseases and Changes in the Brain.  Barbara Nordhjem will talk about the … Continued

Lateral and Medial Ventral Occipitotemporal Regions Interact During the Recognition of Images Revealed from Noise

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How does the brain accomplish object recognition? In this study that appeared in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, Barbara Nordhjem and colleagues demonstrate that lateral sections of the ventral visual cortex interact during the recognition of images that were slowly revealed from noise, indicating both are … Continued

Eyes on crowding: new paper in Journal of Vision

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    In this study in the Journal of Vision, Funda Yildirim and colleagues used eye movements show for the first that crowding similarly affects the accuracy of peripheral recognition and saccadic target localization, thereby confirming earlier model predictions that suggested that … Continued