Our mission is to understand the neurophysiological and computational principles underlying conscious perception and decision making. We use an integrative approach by which we combine a number of experimental techniques to map brain activity at different spatiotemporal scales (e.g. neuroimaging, electrophysiology) with psychophysical and behavioural measures as well as advanced statistics and computational modelling.
We particularly focus on multisensory perception. In everyday life, we rely on the correct interplay of our different sensory modalities to perceive the world. The fact that we are equipped with multiple senses offers behavioural flexibility, as we can selectively combine or segregate the evidence provided by each sense to guide our actions. For example, visual cues from a speaker's face can make us 'hear better' in a noisy environment, while acoustic cues help us 'see better' on a foggy day. The proper interplay between our senses is critical, as deficits in multisensory integration relate to cognitive disorders or sensory-motor challenges during aging.
Our group is part of the Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC, and is supported by the European Research Council (ERC Consolidator program).
A recent study by Simon Jetzschke, Norbert Boeddeker and colleagues suggest that humans use similar optimal probabilistic strategies in visual and auditory navigation, integrating landmark information to improve homing precision and balancing homing precision with homing accuracy. Jetzschke S, Fröhlich J, Ernst MO, Boeddeker N. Finding home: Landmark ambiguity in human navigation. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience. 2017;11: 132.
New paper with Norbert Boeddeker, reporting on a cluster of descending neurons in honeybees that are prime candidates not only for the control of flight speed and landing, but also for the basis of a neural 'front end' of the honeybee's visual odometer. Neural basis of forward flight control and landing in honeybees Ibbotson MR, Hung Y-S, Meffin H, Boeddeker N, Srinivasan MV (2017) Scientific Reports 7(1).