How do our senses work together? Our eyes and ears cooperate to help us understand our environment. We frequently perceive visual and auditory stimuli as being bound together if they seem likely to have arisen from a common source. That's why we tend not to notice that the speakers on TV sets or in movie theatres are located beside, and not behind, the screen. Research in my laboratory is devoted to investigating the question of how the brain coordinates the information arising from the ears and eyes. Our findings challenge the historical view of the brain's sensory processing as being automatic, autonomous, and immune from outside influence.
THE BRAIN AND SPACE
I believe space is so important to brain function that I've written a whole book about it! Making Space: How the Brain Knows Where Things Are, Harvard University Press, November 2014. For a general audience, including interested students. Supported by a Guggenheim fellowship. See Table of Contents and Index. Reviews in Nature and the New Scientist. Also Amazon.
You can also take my free online course The Brain and Space on Coursera. Open for enrollment now (Session 3 - December 2014-April 30, 2015).
I was on BBC World Service: The Forum on October 18, 2014: Natural Navigation. Audio here. And on WUNC (NPR) "The State of Things" with Frank Stasio on Dec 5, 2014. Audio here. I will be on Ideas Roadshow and CBC radio's IDEAS in 2015
What timing! Maybe the Nobel committee took my online course. Video of lecture explaining the work honored by the 2014 Medicine Nobel can be seen here.
Ventriloquism and the Brain on CBC's Quirks and Quarks. More here. Article in Telegraph.
Another ventriloquism study. Article in Raleigh News and Observer. Interview on. WPTF radio.
And our study showing that the superior colliculus uses a map for visual stimuli and a meter for sounds - and this is even true for the motor-related activity. Coverage here and here.
POSTDOCTORAL POSITION AVAILABLE
A postdoctoral position is available to study spatial processing in the auditory and visual systems of the brain. Several different research questions are available for study: visual influences over hearing; coding of multiple sounds; and the role of parietal cortex in connecting spatial locations across time. A strong quantitative background is essential. Experience in neurophysiology, animal training, and/or auditory psychophysics is preferred.To apply, please email plain text cover letter including the names of 2-3 references and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Posted October 2014).