Vision • perception • visual cortex • neuroimaging • physiology • psychophysics
My research focuses on the functional organization of the primate visual system and the neural basis of perception in health and disease. Recently, I have focused on binocular vision and the neurological characterization of adults and children with amblyopia (lazy eye). I approach these topics with studies of normal behavior, the behavioral effects of focal lesions, and physiological measurement of brain activity. I currently use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) techniques to measure local physiological signals in brain tissue while human subjects view visual stimuli. I take much of my inspiration from the relatively well-understood monkey visual system, which is similar to the human system. Using fMRI and appropriate visual stimulation provides clear, non-invasive localization of the boundaries of the multiple areas in human visual cortex, areas known previously only from monkeys. An important methodological advantage is the use of tools that enable visualization of brain activation data as a 2-D pattern on the flattened brain, and facilitate the build-up of increasingly detailed maps of the visual areas in single subjects.
Buckthought A & Mendola JD. A matched fMRI comparison of binocular depth and rivalry. Journal of Vision, 2011 May 5;11(6). doi:pii: 3. 10.1167/11.6.3.
Buckthought A, Jessula S, Mendola JD. Bistable percepts in the brain: fMRI contrasts monocular pattern rivalry and binocular rivalry. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e20367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020367. Epub 2011 May 23.
Dawson DA, Cha K, Lewis LB, Mendola JD, Shmuel A. Evaluation and calibration of functional network modeling methods based on known anatomical connections. Neuroimage. 2013 Feb 15;67:331-43. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.11.006. Epub 2012 Nov 12
Mendola JD, Buckthought A. FMRI investigation of monocular pattern rivalry. J Cogn Neurosci. 2013 Jan;25(1):62-73. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00296.
Fesi J.D. & Mendola J.D. Linking brain to behaviour for the visual perception of figures and objects. Vis Neurosci. 2013 Aug 23:1-15. [Epub ahead of print]