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Grapheme-color synesthetes experience specific colors associated with specific number or letter characters. To determine the neural locus of this condition, we compared behavioral and fMRI responses in six grapheme-color synesthetes to control subjects. In our behavioral experiments, we found that a subject's synesthetic experience can aid in texture(More)
Repeated within-day testing on a texture discrimination task leads to retinotopically specific decreases in performance. Although perceptual learning has been shown to be highly specific to the retinotopic location and characteristics of the trained stimulus, the specificity of perceptual deterioration has not been studied. We investigated the similarities(More)
The nervous system frequently integrates parallel streams of information to encode a broad range of stimulus strengths. In mammalian retina it is generally believed that signals generated by rod and cone photoreceptors converge onto cone bipolar cells prior to reaching the retinal output, the ganglion cells. Near absolute visual threshold a specialized(More)
Previous work established retinal expression of channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), an algal cation channel gated by light, restored physiological and behavioral visual responses in otherwise blind rd1 mice. However, a viable ChR2-based human therapy must meet several key criteria: (i) ChR2 expression must be targeted, robust, and long-term, (ii) ChR2 must provide(More)
Previous studies have shown that attention to a particular stimulus feature, such as direction of motion or color, enhances neuronal responses to unattended stimuli sharing that feature. We studied this effect psychophysically by measuring the strength of the motion aftereffect (MAE) induced by an unattended stimulus when attention was directed to one of(More)
In peripheral vision, objects in clutter are difficult to identify. The exact cause of this "crowding" effect is unclear. To perceive coherent shapes in clutter, the visual system must integrate certain local features across receptive fields while preventing others from being combined. It is believed that this selective feature integration-segmentation(More)
The sensitivity of receptor cells places a fundamental limit upon the sensitivity of sensory systems. For example, the signal-to-noise ratio of sensory receptors has been suggested to limit absolute thresholds in the visual and auditory systems. However, the necessity of optimally processing sensory receptor signals for behaviour to approach this limit has(More)
Our visual experience is initiated when the visual pigment in our retinal photoreceptors absorbs photons of light energy and initiates a cascade of intracellular events that lead to closure of cyclic-nucleotide-gated channels in the cell membrane. The resulting change in membrane potential leads in turn to reductions in the amount of neurotransmitter(More)
Repeated training on a perceptual task can result in performance deterioration. In the case of vision, this practice-dependent decrease, or perceptual deterioration is restored by changing the target orientation, spatial location, or by taking a daytime nap. Behavioral studies suggest the locus of these performance changes to be primary visual cortex. We(More)
The broad aim of my research is to further the understanding of cognitive processes in order to inform and improve clinical practice. My current projects use psychophysics, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and computational modeling to elucidate the possible mechanisms responsible for the limitations of peripheral vision as compared to foveal(More)