Marc SommerBiomedical Engineering Department Center for Cognitive Neuroscience Duke University USA
Neural and cognitive contributions to visual continuity across eye movements, by Marc Sommer
Our percept of the visual world is continuous and cinematic even though the images projected onto our retinas move abruptly each time we look from place to place. Using a combination of neurophysiology, psychophysics, and modeling, we are investigating the circuits in the brain that contribute to continuity of visual perception during action.
Dr. Marc Sommer studies circuits for cognition in the primate brain. After receiving degrees in Biology and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, he worked with Dr. Peter Schiller at MIT for his PhD in Systems Neuroscience. His dissertation research focused on the role of frontal brain areas in vision, working memory, and eye movements. Dr. Sommer then performed postdoctoral work with Dr. Bob Wurtz at the National Institutes of Health, where he discovered a neural circuit that links eye movement centers of the brainstem to visual areas of frontal cortex. This circuit sends signals about imminent eye movements to the visual system, helping to maintain a continuous, stable visual percept despite our frequent eye movements. Dr. Sommer started his own laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh in 2004, then moved to the Biomedical Engineering department at Duke University in 2010. He has secondary appointments in Neurobiology, Psychology & Neuroscience, and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke.