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Michael Schmid

Neuroscience Symposium

Date 28 June 2024
Research group Roelfsema
Location Amsterdam
Program 4:00 p.m - Neural Dynamics of Visual Object Detection and Phosphene Perception in Non-Human Primates.
4:45 p.m - Discussion and Drinks

The Guest Speaker:
Michael Schmid, PhD
Department of Neuroscience and Movements Sciences, University of Fribourg.

Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying vision is crucial for advancing both basic neuroscience and applied clinical interventions. In this talk, I will cover two critical aspects of current vision research based on work with non-human primates. Firstly, I will present efforts to develop a cortical visual prosthesis using optogenetic stimulation. This approach promises more cell- specific targeting compared to traditional electrical stimulation. However, translating optogenetic stimulation from rodents to the larger primate brain has proven challenging. I will show results demonstrating that although large-scale activation maps elicited from optogenetic stimulation of the primary visual cortex (V1) share many similarities with those obtained from electrical stimulation, they may be insufficient to generate robust artificial vision (phosphenes).

In the second part of the talk, I will discuss how advanced stimulation techniques, including those targeting the visual association cortex and integrating ongoing, often oscillatory neural activity, could enhance V1 stimulation efficiency. I will present results showing improvements in visual detection induced by V4 stimulation and how theta rhythmic activity in V4 emerges from targeted visual stimulation of center-surround receptive field mechanisms. Preliminary results indicate that cortical stimulation is more effective when aligned with ongoing intrinsic neural dynamics.

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