Neurobiology
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Thomas Wachtler

Neural Mechanisms of Information Processing and Coding in Vision

While sensory signals under natural viewing conditions are highly variable, the brain provides us with stable percepts of our visual environment. We are interested in how the brain efficiently processes the sensory input and achieves invariant representations. We use methods from neurophysiology, psychophysics, and computational modeling, to study the neural principles of processing and coding in the visual system and how they relate to the properties of the sensory environment and to perceptual phenomena.

Color vision

Color is an important visual cue for object recognition and orientation. However, the surface color of an object has to be infered by the brain taking into account the visual context such as the illuminant. We investigate efficient coding mechanisms for color and how they enable contextual computations to achieve stable color perception.

Figure: Color Vision

Vision and eye movements

Eye movements disrupt the spatiotemporal continuity of neural representations at early stages of the visual system. Nevertheless our brain provides us with a stable percept of our visual environment. We investigate neural mechanisms for compensating the effects of eye movements on the visual signals to achieve invariant representations.

Figure Vision and eye movements

Neuroinformatics

G-Node LogoAdvances in technology and methodology lead to growing amounts of increasingly complex neuroscience data. Efficient management of such data has become a challenge.
At the German Neuroinformatics Node we are developing a hardware and software infrastructure to support efficient organization, storage, analysis, and sharing of neurophysiology data, so that the researcher can focus on the scientific questions rather than on problems of data management. Tools and services include formats for storing and integrating data and metadata, and services for versioned organization, sharing, and publication of research data.