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Neuroscience Brown Bag Series

Thursday, November 02, 2017,
  • Location: Wilson Hall
  • Room: 316

Eric Reavis, PhD

Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

University of California, Los Angeles

Linking neuroanatomy and perception: An individual differences approach to the study of normal and aberrant visual processing

Measurable individual differences in visual processing are evident in many perceptual tasks, from psychophysical assessments of backward masking to tests of perceptual learning. Likewise, individual differences in the macroscopic structure of the human visual system (e.g., cortical thickness) can be measured reliably in vivo using MRI. However, it has long remained unclear to what extent individual differences in brain structure and individual differences in perception are related. In a series of recent studies, we have investigated such relationships in healthy individuals as well as in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder -- mental illnesses associated with perceptual dysfunction. In these studies, we have identified several specific links between MRI-based measures of brain structure and behavioral measures of perception in both healthy participants and participants with mental illness. Together, these findings suggest that individual differences in neuroanatomy are linked to individual differences in perception. Furthermore, understanding these relationships may help to clarify the etiology of specific visual deficits found in neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder