brainSensation is easy –even a camera can sense light. For a camera, light simply falls onto film, creating a photograph of what was seen; the story ends there. For humans, however, the moment light falls on our retina is but the beginning of an exceedingly complex process, culminating in our rich perceptual experiences. It’s this remarkable process that sets our visual system far apart from simple devices such as cameras: our brain’s ability to perceive and consciously experience the visual world. Our lab’s work centers on that pivotal stage of cognitive processing –the stage at which sensation becomes perception. We combine a variety of techniques, including psychophysics, computational modeling, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) –all aimed towards understanding how the brain mediates between the ‘buzzing confusion’ of the visual world and our limited processing power.

Bizarre alternate description, courtesy of Jan Brascamp