Robert H. Wurtz

National Institutes of Health


Election Year: 1988
Primary Section: 28, Systems Neuroscience
Secondary Section: 52, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

I have concentrated my research on one of the primary functions of the brain: how it processes sensory information for perception and the initiation of movement. Experiments in my laboratory center on the visual and oculomotor systems of the brain of awake behaving monkeys as a model for similar systems in the human brain. One oculomotor system, the saccadic system, moves the eye rapidly from one region of the visual field to another, and my laboratory has investigated the nature of the visual-motor transformations that must occur between the visual input and the eye-movement-related output. Experiments use behavioral, electrophysiological, anatomical, and theoretical approaches on a series of brain areas including the superior colliculus, the cerebral cortex, and the basal ganglia. Preparation to make these eye movements has also been used to determine the regions of the brain related to visual attention and the neuronal processes that occur with shifts of attention. Visual motion information is used to generate a second type of eye movement, smooth pursuit, and we have identified regions of visual cortex that are related to these movements. Recent work has also suggested that the visual motion resulting from our own movements is processed in a separate but adjacent region of the cerebral cortex.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software