The Göttingen neuroscientist Caspar Schwiedrzik has received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. This award is intended to support promising young researchers who are pursuing a visionary research project. Schwiedrzik will receive a total of approximately 1.9 million euros in funding over a period of five years.
Caspar Schwiedrzik heads a working group at the European Neuroscience Institute (ENI), a cooperation between the University Medicine Göttingen and the Max Planck Society, as well as at the German Primate Center (DPZ). He is investigating how vision is influenced by variable signals from the environment and how this can lead to improvements in perception. His approach is based on the comparison of different species, humans and rhesus monkeys, as well as different neuroscientific methods. He combines imaging methods with electrophysiological investigations of the activity of individual nerve cells.
“I would like to find out whether we can improve perception through new training methods that make targeted use of variability, and which changes in the brain are responsible for such learning effects,” says Caspar Schwiedrzik. “This would deepen our understanding of learning processes in the brain and could at best increase the efficiency of training to improve perception, for example in patients with perception deficits. I am very happy about the ERC funding. It allows me to advance my research effectively.”
Caspar Schwiedrzik (born 1983) studied psychology at the University of Constance from 2003 to 2008, focusing on cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychology. He received his PhD in 2011 at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. From 2012 to 2016, he conducted research at New York's Rockefeller University. Since January 2017, he has headed the working group "Neural Circuits and Cognition" at ENI and from February 2019 he will also be head of the junior research group "Perception and Plasticity Group" at the DPZ.