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Eye movements and visual perception

How are visual stimuli processed to obtain a stable and reliable representation of our environment? To what extent are our motor actions (eye movements) related to our visual perception?

To get to the bottom of these questions, we use various phenomena, e.g. saccadic compression (visual stimuli presented at the beginning of a saccadic eye movement are seen compressed towards the destination of the saccade) or adaptation (saccadic execution is unconsciously altered in order to have the effect on our examine perception).

In another project we examine the visual perception of people with autism spectrum disorders. Unfortunately, we currently have little knowledge about how the communication and behavioral difficulties of adult autistic people are formed in childhood. To fill this knowledge gap, we examine the visual perception of autistic people, particularly with regard to how previously perceived influences the perception of current stimuli.

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Sensory decline

In the second research area, we investigate the influence of attention and intended touch on the effect of sensory attenuation. Sensory attenuation describes the attenuation of self-generated versus externally generated stimuli. Your own touches are therefore perceived less intense compared to external touch. We use a virtual reality setup to address this phenomenon.

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Perception of space

These studies are about investigating the influence of motor processes on spatial perception. Using modern virtual reality technology, we investigate, for example, how conflicts between visual and motor information affect our spatial perception, how contradictory information from different senses is processed in the brain, how we can localize ourselves in space, or how we perceive our own movements. Thanks to VR, we can manipulate movement sequences or the consequences of actions in a targeted manner and investigate whether the modifications that worked in the previous trial lead to changes in perception in subsequent trials.

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Perception of time

How can we use time information from the environment to improve our performance in certain tasks? We investigate, for example, how errors in time estimation in one trial influence the next trial (serial dependencies in duration perception), or how irrelevant temporal regularities are learned unconsciously in order to react faster and more precisely to stimuli (implicit learning of temporal information). 

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