Lines of Research

Our group has several research lines grouped into three areas:

1) Neurophysiological correlates of visual perception and sensory-motor coordination. In this area we seek to understand how the electrical activity of neuronal networks accounts for complex behaviors such as visual perception. We examine functional connectivity in electroencephalographic signals recorded in volunteer subjects while they examine natural scenes images on a screen. We also study these recordings in persons performing a motor learning task or playing video games, in order to examine the dynamics of brain changes that occur in visuomotor coordination or motor learning. Also, we recorded the electrical signals of neuronal populations in several cortical areas of rats while they perform a discrimination task, in order to determine the specific mechanisms of precise sensory-motor coordination that occur in active sensing. This research area include the following projects:

  • Temporal pattern of EEG coherence during change and stability of the perception of a bistable visual stimulus.
  • Fixation and saccade-related EEG activity during free exploration of natural scenes.
  • Environmental temperature modulation of cognitive resources.
  • Sensorimotor circuits in the sensory cortex.
  • Role of oscillatory coupled activity between the cerebellum and motor cortex during acquisition of internal models in visuomotor learning tasks.
  • Attentional modulation of sensorimotor integration during active perception.

2) Visual perception as markers of mental states. Eye movements patterns and body temperature reflect underlying physiological processes that reflect different mental states. These behaviors can be characterized and use to predict behavioral performance. These can be employed in the industry to measure fatigue and prevent accidents, or the improve web page navigation. This research area include the following projects:

  • Autonomic response in emotion as a determinant of rapid sensory integration and motor behavior.
  • Pupillary reactivity, evidence of top-down mechanisms in emotional processing
  • Platform for the analysis of preferences and extrapolation of the behavior of web users from visual exploration patterns and advanced tools of brain informatics for Web Intelligencee

3) Neurophysiological correlates of psychiatric and neurological illness. In this area we search for biological measures or markers that would improve classification of psychiatric and neurological illnesses and increase our understanding of pathogenesis. This approach will enable for earlier disease detection and may assist in a more efficient therapies. Here we intent to study a group of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, or Alzheimer’s disease. We employ pupillary measures, eye movements characterizations and EEG measurements in order find behavioral and electroencephalographic markers for these pathological conditions. This research area include the following projects:

  • Neurophysiological markers in schizophrenia.
  • Pupillary activity and cognition in schizophrenia.
  • Modification of functional connectivity as an early mechanism of alteration of spatial memory in patients with Cognitive Impairment.