Why do we make errors in understanding what we see and in remembering what we've seen? Uncertainty and variability are fundamental aspects of human behaviour, which worsen with advancing age or neurological disease. In the lab we measure these factors using visual psychophysics and memory tasks, eye tracking and limb motion-tracking. Then, using mathematical models and computer simulations, we develop and test hypotheses about the underlying brain mechanisms.
One focus of the lab is on visual memory. Our ability to recall what we have seen is surprisingly limited: rather than a fixed capacity on how many objects we can remember, our work shows that the limit is on the resolution with which visual information can be maintained. Visual memory acts like a resource that can be allocated to important information in our environment: we investigate how this resource is distributed between features of the visual scene and how it is updated when we move our eyes.
In the brain, information about our environment and our planned actions is reflected in the spiking activity of populations of neurons. Recent work in the lab involves developing computational models of encoding and decoding of neural activity that explain aspects of human perception and behaviour.