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Visual Perception and Decision-Making

The effect of electrical microstimulation in visual area V5/MT on judgements about the appearance of a rotating structure-from-motion cylinder (Krug et al, 2013, Current Biology).
Controlling perception of visual objects with electrical microstimulation (Krug et al. 2013, Current Biology).

neural circuits For Perception aND Decision-Making In Primates

My research group seeks to explain and alter perceptual decision-making from the level of single brain cells through to mental states. With this work, we aim to understand the neuronal code underlying conscious processes. One fundamental problem is that neuronal activity sometimes represents processes of which we are aware and sometimes codes for information to which we have no access (Krug et al. 2004). Using electrical microstimulation of neurons in Rhesus monkeys, we can show how the activity of neurons in visual cortex causally contributes to the perceptual appearance of visual objects. For instance, we have identified a strong cognitive signal in the activity of single neurons in extrastriate visual area V5/MT that shapes perceptual decisions about 3D-motion figures (Dodd et al. 2001; Krug et al. 2013). This brain area in Rhesus monkeys has a structural and functional homologue in humans (Large et al. 2016). We are currently investigating how contextual effects, like expected reward and social influence, interact with sensory signals in the brain and thus affect visual perception. This has profound implications for our understanding of decision-making in healthy individuals and in individuals with a psychiatric disorder.

Our team

Selected publications

Related research themes