The laboratory's long term goal is to understand how the
brain manages to make sense of its complex visual environment. How are the
photons that hit the retina translated into meaningful information about where
things are, where they are going and what they look like?
An understanding of how this complex process may work,
can only come from a combination of techniques: human psychophysics provides
information at an abstract level; it tells us something about what humans do and
sometimes it can provide constraints on how they do it. Functional magnetic
resonance imaging can tell us something about the particular areas of the brain
that are involved. To study the mechanisms, however, one also needs to have a
detailed look at the neurons that do all this hard work. This is possible with
electrophysiological methods in animals. The connection from the mechanistic
single-cell knowledge to the high-level perceptual understanding can be made in
monkeys that are performing psychophysical tasks while we record from relevant
cells in their brains.