The general goal of our research is to understand the brain's ability to perceive and interact with objects in the environment. In one line of research, we are attempting to define the patterns of brain activity that correspond to a subject's awareness of visual stimuli. In other words, why are we aware of some objects and events in the world around us, but not others? For these studies, we use behavioral methods and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine brain activation as human subjects observe illusory visual stimuli.
In a second line of research, we focus on the brain's ability to form spatial representations of the world using sensory cues. In particular, this research uses behavioral techniques to examine the many possible frames of reference used by the brain to map the location of an object in three-dimensional space. By assessing the performance of human subjects responding to sensory stimuli under various conditions, these experiments provide insights into the sensorimotor processes that allow us to accurately move the eyes or hands to the location of an object.