Understanding the Organisational Principles of Visual Cortex 

Retinotopy is a fundamental organising principle of visual cortex. Adjacent points on the retina project to adjacent neurons in cortex, creating a spatial map between the retina and the brain. Historically, retinotopy was considered independent from category-selectivity, but recent work from our group (& others) highlights their co-localisation. Many category-selective regions of cortex spatially overlap distinct retinotopic maps. Understanding the role that these retinotopic maps play in complex visual processing is a crucial goal of our group.


Visual Field Biases &


Recent fMRI work by our group (& others) demonstrates that category-selective regions of high-level visual cortex exhibit systematic visual field biases. In many cases, these biases are for portions of the visual field in which that regions preferred stimulus appears during normal viewing. Understanding the functional significance of these visual field biases is a key goal of our research.


Distinct Cortical Regions for Remembering People & Places

Remembering a specific person, place or event vividly is something most of us do everyday. But where in the brain does this process take place? We asked this question in a recent fMRI study in which participants recalled specific people and/or places from memory.  We identified distinct regions of medial parietal cortex that were preferentially recruited during either people or place recall. Such an organisation is reminiscent of perceptual regions for people and places in ventral temporal cortex and suggests a common representational framework.






Groen, I. I., Silson, E. H., & Baker, C. I. (2017). Contributions of low-and high-level properties to neural processing of visual scenes in the human brain. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372(1714), 20160102.

Strong, S. L., Silson, E. H., Gouws, A. D., Morland, A. B., & McKeefry, D. J. (2017). A direct demonstration of functional differences between subdivisions of human V5/MT+. Cerebral Cortex, 27(1), 1-10.



Silson, E. H., Chan, A. W. Y., Reynolds, R. C., Kravitz, D. J., & Baker, C. I. (2015). A retinotopic basis for the division of high-level scene processing between lateral and ventral human occipitotemporal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(34), 11921-11935.





Dr. Ed Silson

Principal Investigator


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