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© Tiago Lereno Mesquita

The role of early vision for bidirec­tional neural communication

Tiago Lereno Mesquita – Hector Fellow Brigitte Röder

Collab­o­rat­ing with the LV Prasad Eye insti­tute, we inves­ti­gate sight recov­ery individ­u­als with a history of transient congen­i­tal blind­ness due to cataracts to unveil the neural mecha­nisms of sensi­tive periods in brain devel­op­ment. More specif­i­cally, we inves­ti­gate higher corti­cal repre­sen­ta­tions and whether and how they emerge if visual input arrives delayed e.g., not before mid-child­hood. The present PhD project will focus on object repre­sen­ta­tions and how they emerge in the inter­ac­tion with other visual areas. We expect a better under­stand­ing of how early experi­ence shapes adult brain connectivity.

This doctoral project is a collab­o­ra­tion between Hector Fellow Prof. Dr. Brigitte Röder and the LV Prasad Eye Insti­tute in Hyder­abad, India, which aims at under­stand­ing the role of early experi­ence for human brain devel­op­ment. Our focus lies on individ­u­als born with dense congen­i­tal bilat­eral cataracts who undergo cataract removal surgery only relatively late in life. We employ behav­ioral and non-invasive neuro­science methods to evalu­ate brain parame­ters crucial for efficient visual functioning.

On the one hand, previ­ous research has suggested deficits emerg­ing partic­u­larly in higher order visual areas. On the other hand, recent evidence has suggested impair­ments of orches­trated bottom-up and top-down signal­ing. The present PhD project will inves­ti­gate the role of early visual experi­ence for the devel­op­ment of well-tuned object repre­sen­ta­tions. In partic­u­lar, we will explore the role of top-down and bottom-up brain connec­tiv­ity for higher order visual functions. The present thesis will uncover major princi­ples of human brain devel­op­ment. In the context of eye disease, our research will contribute to improved rehabil­i­ta­tion of humans with visual impairments.

The brain comprises a heavily connected network

The brain comprises a heavily connected network

Tiago Lereno Mesquita

Univer­sität Hamburg

Super­vised by

Prof. Dr.

Brigitte Röder

Psychol­ogy & Medicine

Hector Fellow since 2017Disziplinen Brigitte Röder