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
Tiago Lereno MesquitaUniversität Hamburg
Brigitte RöderPsychology & Medicine
Hector Fellow since 2017