UMRAM/ASBAM Spring 2023 Seminars: “Layers of primary visual cortex as a window into internal models about predicted and simulated environments: Human fMRI, and monkey and rodent neuroscience”


Prof. Lars Muckli

School of Psychology & Neuroscience

University of Glasgow


Date/Time: Thursday, March 16th, 12:30 pm

Meeting ID: 941 2425 2490 (Passcode: 896970)


Abstract: Normal brain function involves the interaction of internal processes with incoming sensory stimuli. We have created a series of brain imaging experiments (using 7T fMRI) that sample internal models and feedback mechanisms in early visual cortex. The primary visual cortex (V1) is the entry stage for cortical processing of visual information. We can show that there are three information counter-streams concerned with: (1) retinotopic visual input, (2) top-down predictions of internal models generated by the brain, and (3) top-down imagery acting independently of the perception and prediction loop. Internal models amplify and disamplify incoming information, but there is also mental imagery not interfering with visual perception. Our results speak to the conceptual framework of predictive coding. Healthy brain function will strike a balance between the precision of prediction and prediction update based on prediction error. Our results incorporate state-of-the-art, layer-specific ultra-high field fMRI and other imaging techniques. In a multi-species and multi-method approach, we replicate our results in rodents and monkeys and learn more about the neuronal cortical microcircuitry underlying top-down processes in the visual cortex.


About the Speaker: Lars Muckli is Professor of Visual and Cognitive Neurosciences, Director of fMRI at the Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNI), in Glasgow, and Co-chair of 7T-Imaging Center of Excellence (ICE) MRI. He has worked for 24 years in the field of fMRI and multi-modal brain imaging. Lars Muckli studied Cognitive Psychology (in Gießen, Germany 1992-7, and UCL, London 1995), with minors in Mathematics, Medicine, and Philosophy, before graduate work at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt (Ph.D. in 2002). In 2004 he contributed to the foundation of the Frankfurt Brain Imaging Centre (F-BIC).Then, he moved to Glasgow and contributed to the opening of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNI) in 2008 and the Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE) in 2017. His work focuses on brain imaging of cortical feedback, investigation of layer-specific fMRI, and multi-level/cross–species computational neuroscience. The Muckli-lab was previously funded by an ERC consolidator grant on ‘Brain reading of contextual feedback and predictions’. Since 2016, Lars has been a member of the Human Brain Project (HBP), leading a work package on rodent and human neuroscience on ‘Context-sensitive multisensory object recognition a deep network model constrained by multi-level, multi-species data’. His work focuses on brain imaging of cortical feedback, and investigation of layer-specific fMRI. He is interested in multi-level cross–species computational neuroscience. Lars has generated important supporting evidence for the refinement of predictive coding theories.