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Vision • perception • visual cortex • neuroimaging • physiology • psychophysics
My research focuses on the functional organization of the human visual system and the neural basis of perception in health and disease. l focus on the basic science of binocular vision and form perception, and approach these topics with studies of normal behaviour, the behavioural 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.
My clinically oriented projects have ranged in topic over the years. Using MRI and fMRI to improve the neurological characterization of adults and children with amblyopia (lazy eye) has been an abiding interest. With the advent of gene replacement therapies in ophthalmology, the opportunity to contribute to important efforts to preserve sight in inherited retinal diseases has been rewarding. I recently joined a team of researchers to study traumatic optic nerve injury with advanced MRI imaging, including diffusion tensor imaging and cutting-edge analyses, including machine learning.
Over the years, I have taken inspiration from the relatively well understood monkey visual system, which is similar to the human system. It is now standard to non-invasively localize the boundaries of the multiple areas in the human visual cortex, areas known previously only from monkeys. An important methodological advantage remains 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.
Cooper PR, Mendola JD. Abnormal sensory eye dominance in stereoanomalous subjects. J Vis. 2019 Nov 1;19(13):14. doi: 10.1167/19.13.14. PMID: 31747692.
Bock EA, Fesi JD, Baillet S, Mendola JD. Tagged MEG measures binocular rivalry in a cortical network that predicts alternation rate. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 11;14(7):e0218529. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218529. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31295259.
Mendola JD, Lam J, Rosenstein M, Lewis LB, Shmuel A. Partial correlation analysis reveals abnormal retinotopically organized functional connectivity of visual areas in amblyopia. Neuroimage Clin. 2018 Jan 31;18:192-201. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2018.01.022. eCollection 2018. PMID: 29868445.
Scholl HP, Moore AT, Koenekoop RK, Wen Y, Fishman GA, van den Born LI, Bittner A, Bowles K, Fletcher EC, Collison FT, Dagnelie G, Degli Eposti S, Michaelides M, Saperstein DA, Schuchard RA, Barnes C, Zein W, Zobor D, Birch DG, Mendola JD, Zrenner E; RET IRD 01 Study Group. Safety and Proof-of-Concept Study of Oral QLT091001 in Retinitis Pigmentosa Due to Inherited Deficiencies of Retinal Pigment Epithelial 65 Protein (RPE65) or Lecithin:Retinol Acyltransferase (LRAT). PLoS One. 2015 Dec 10;10(12):e0143846. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143846. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26656277.
Buckthought A, Fesi JD, Kirsch LE, Mendola JD. Comparison of stimulus rivalry to binocular rivalry with functional magnetic resonance imaging. J Vis. 2015;15(14):2. doi: 10.1167/15.14.2. PMID: 26426915.