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PNB Colloquium - Ben Thompson - How does the brain shut down an eye?



How does the brain shut down an eye?

Abstract: Interocular suppression is a phenomenon whereby the information from one eye is blocked from conscious awareness. Interocular suppression can be induced in individuals with normal vision by presenting different images to each eye, a situation that causes a perceptual alternation between the eyes called binocular rivalry. Visual disorders such as amblyopia are also characterized by chronic suppression of one eye. I will present a series of studies into the nature of interocular suppression in amblyopia that target early-stage cortical processing through to high-level attentional processes. I will also describe recent experiments aiming to modulate interocular suppression in normal vision using non-invasive brain stimulation and the induction of LTP-like effects within the visual cortex.

Bio: Ben is a Professor and the Associate Director of Research within the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. Ben holds a BSc and DPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Sussex and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Psychology, UCLA and the Department of Ophthalmology, McGill University. Ben became a faculty member within the School of Optometry and Vison Science at the University of Auckland in 2008, where he retains a research position. He moved to the University of Waterloo in 2014. Ben is a member of the OPO editorial board, and an editor for PLOS One and Nature Scientific Reports. His research involves the use of psychophysics, non-invasive brain stimulation and magnetic resonance imaging to investigate development and plasticity of the human visual system.

Host: David Shore

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