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The Perception and Plasticity Junior Research Group (PPG)

 

Welcome to the Perception and Plasticity Junior Research Group (PPG), headed by Dr. Caspar M. Schwiedrzik. The PPG deals with the neuronal basis of learning processes. The focus of the research, which is also carried out in the Neural Circuits and Cognition group at the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen, lies in the visual system and the question of how neural plasticity leads to improved perception. 

The PPG is part of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab of Prof. Stefan Treue at the DPZ. Our group has existed at the DPZ since February 2019 and is a cooperation with the European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen, a joint initiative of the Max Planck Society and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG). Currently, we are funded by the Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation and an ERC Starting Grant ("VarPL", 802482).

Research

Permanent changes in behaviour require a basic skill: learning. Through learning we can acquire mental models of our environment, abstract principles that free us from the specific learning experience, and have the ability to extrapolate and generalize. Such mental models help to organize, predict, and compress the input of information from our environment, in short, to adapt to our environment. Unlike computers, the brain is the only known system that can learn from a single example. What makes brains so remarkable and what causes this extraordinary ability? 

We investigate how mental models are physiologically rooted, especially where and how learned mental models are stored in the brain and how they can be translated into optimal decisions and actions. We pursue a multimodal approach based on electrophysiological and imaging techniques, which are performed in humans and macaques in parallel. In this way we want to explore general principles and/or species-specific neural solutions for the learning problem. For this goal we focus on the visual system of primates. We are currently pursuing two main projects that are closely linked and aim at understanding the principles and mechanisms that enable the learning of abstract mental models (funded by ERC Starting Grant 802482, "Specificity or generalization? Neural mechanisms for perceptual learning with variability"), and how these models are used to make predictions about our sensory environment (Emmy Noether Programme of the German Research Foundation, "Feedback as the way forward: sensory predictions in the primate face processing hierarchy"). 

Selected Publications

  1. Schwiedrzik CM & Sudmann SS (2020) Pupil Diameter Tracks Statistical Structure in the Environment to Increase Visual Sensitivity. Journal of Neuroscience 40(23): 4565-4575.
  2. Schwiedrzik CM, Sudmann SS, Thesen T, Wang X, Groppe DM, Mégevand P, Doyle W, Mehta AD, Devinsky O, Melloni L (2018). Medial prefrontal cortex supports perceptual memory. Current Biology, 28(18): R1094-R1095.
  3. Schwiedrzik CM, Freiwald WA (2017). High-level prediction signals in a low-level area of the macaque face-processing hierarchy. Neuron, 96(1): 89-97.e4. 
  4. Schwiedrzik CM, Bernstein B, Melloni L (2016). Motion along the mental number line reveals shared representations for numerosity and space. eLife, 5: e10806.
  5. Schwiedrzik CM, Zarco W, Everling S, Freiwald WA (2015) Face patch resting state networks link face processing to social cognition. PLoS Biology, 13(9): e1002245.

All Publications

  1. Liashenko A, Dizaji AS, Melloni L, Schwiedrzik CM (2020) Memory guidance of value-based decision making at an abstract level of representation. Scientific Reports 10: 21496.
  2. Schwiedrzik CM & Sudmann SS (2020) Pupil Diameter Tracks Statistical Structure in the Environment to Increase Visual Sensitivity. Journal of Neuroscience 40(23): 4565-4575.
  3. Schwiedrzik CM, Sudmann SS, Thesen T, Wang X, Groppe DM, Mégevand P, Doyle W, Mehta AD, Devinsky O, Melloni L (2018). Medial prefrontal cortex supports perceptual memory. Current Biology, 28(18): R1094-R1095.
  4. Auksztulewicz R, Schwiedrzik CM, Thesen T, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Nobre AC, Schroeder CE, Friston KJ, Melloni L (2018). Not all predictions are equal: ‘what’ and ‘when’ predictions modulate activity in auditory cortex through different mechanisms. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(40): 8680-8693. 
  5. Milham MP, Ai L, Koo B, Xu T, Amiez C, Balezeau F, Baxter MG, Blezer ELA, Brochier T, Chen A, Croxon PL, Damatac CG, Dehaene S, Everling S, Fair DA, Fleysher L, Freiwald WA, Froudist-Walsh S, Griffiths TD, Guedj C, Hadj-Bouziane F, Ben Hamed S, Harel N, Hiba B, Jarraya B, Jung B, Kastner S, Klink PC, Kwok SC, Laland KN, Leopold DA, Lindenfors P, Mars RB, Menon RS, Messinger A, Meunier M, Mok K, Morrison JH, Nacef J, Nagy J, Ortiz Rios M, Petkov CI, Pinsk M, Poirier C, Procyk E, Rajimehr R, Roelfsema PR, Rudko DA, Rushworth MFS, Russ BE, Sallet J, Schmid MC, Schwiedrzik CM, Seidlitz J, Sein J, Shmuel A, Sullivan EL, Thiele A, Todorov OS, Tsao D, Ungerleider L, Wang Z, Wilson CE, Yacoub E, Ye FQ, Zarco W, Zhou Y, Margulies DS, Schroeder CE (2018). An open resource for non-human primate imaging. Neuron, 100(1): 61-74.e2. 
  6. Schwiedrzik CM, Melloni L, Schurger A (2018). Mooney face stimuli for visual perception research. PLoS One, 13(7): e0200106.
  7. Gorman A*, Deh K*, Schwiedrzik CM, White J, Groman EV, Fisher C, McCabe Gillen K, Spincemaille P, Rasmussen S, Prince MR, Voss HU, Freiwald WA, Wang Y (2018). Brain iron distribution after multiple doses of ultra-small superparamagnetic iron oxide particles in rats. Comparative Medicine, 68(2): 139-147. (* shared first authorship)
  8. Schwiedrzik CM, Freiwald WA (2017). High-level prediction signals in a low-level area of the macaque face-processing hierarchy. Neuron, 96(1): 89-97.e4. 
  9. Schwiedrzik CM, Bernstein B, Melloni L (2016). Motion along the mental number line reveals shared representations for numerosity and space. eLife, 5: e10806. 
  10. Mayer A, Schwiedrzik CM, Wibral M, Singer W, Melloni L (2016). Expecting to see a letter: alpha oscillations as carriers of top-down sensory predictions. Cerebral Cortex, 26(7): 3146-60. 
  11. Schwiedrzik CM, Zarco W, Everling S, Freiwald WA (2015) Face patch resting state networks link face processing to social cognition. PLoS Biology, 13(9): e1002245. 
  12. Schwiedrzik CM, Ruff CC, Lazar A, Leitner FC, Singer W, Melloni L (2014). Untangling perceptual memory: hysteresis and adaptation map into separate cortical networks. Cerebral Cortex, 24(5): 1152-64. 
  13. Schwiedrzik CM, Singer W, Melloni L (2011). Subjective and objective learning effects dissociate in space and in time. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 108(11): 4506-4511. 
  14. Melloni L, Schwiedrzik CM, Müller N, Rodriguez E, Singer W (2011). Expectations change the signatures and timing of electrophysiological correlates of perceptual awareness. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(4): 1386-1396.
  15. Alink A, Schwiedrzik CM, Kohler A, Singer W, Muckli L (2010). Stimulus predictability reduces responses in primary visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(8): 2960-2966.
  16. Schwiedrzik CM, Singer W, Melloni L (2009). Sensitivity and perceptual awareness increase with practice in metacontrast masking. Journal of Vision, 9(10):18, 1-18. 
  17. Schwiedrzik CM, Alink A, Kohler A, Singer W, Muckli L (2007). A spatio-temporal interaction on the apparent motion trace. Vision Research, 47(28): 3424-33.

 

Reviews

  1. Autio JA, Zhu Q, Li X, Glasser MF, Schwiedrzik CM, Fair DA, Zimmermann J, Yacoub E, Menon RS, Van Essen DC, Hayashi T, Russ B, Vanduffel W. (2021) Minimal Specifications for Non-Human Primate MRI: Challenges in Standardizing and Harmonizing Data Collection. Neuroimage. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118082
  2. Milham M, Petkov CI, Margulies DS, Schroeder CE, Basso MA, Belin P, Fair DA, Fox A, Kastner S, Mars RB, Messinger A, Poirier C, Vanduffel W, Van Essen DC, Alvand A, Becker Y, Ben Hamed S, Benn A, Bodin C, Boretius S, Cagna B, Coulon O, El-Gohary SH, Evrard H, Forkel SJ, Friedrich P, Froudist-Walsh S, Garza-Villarreal EA, Gao Y, Gozzi A, Grigis A, Hartig R, Hayashi T, Heuer K, Howells H, Jan Ardesch D, Jarraya B, Jarrett W, Jedema HP, Kagan I, Kelly C, Kennedy H, Klink PC, Kwok SC,  Leech R, Liu X, Madan C, Madushanka W, Majka P, Mallon A-M, Marche K, Meguerditchian A, Menon RS, Merchant H, Mitchell A, Nenning K-H, Nikolaidis A, Ortiz-Rios M, Pagani M, Pareek V, Prescott M, Procyk E, Rajimehr R, Rautu I-S, Raz A, Roe AW, Rossi-Pool R, Roumazeilles L, Sakai T, Sallet J, García-Saldivar P, Sato C, Sawiak S, Schiffer M, Schwiedrzik CM, Seidlitz J, Sein J, Shen Z-M, Shmuel A, Silva AC, Simone L, Sirmpilatze N, Sliwa J, Smallwood J, Tasserie J, Thiebaut de Schotten M, Toro R, Trapeau R, Uhrig L, Vezoli J, Wang Z, Wells S, Williams Bm Xu T, Xu AG, Yacoub E, Zhan M, Ai L, Amiez C, Balezeau F, Baxter MG, Blezer ELA, Brochier T, Chen A, Croxson PL, Damatac CG, Dehaene S, Everling S, Fleysher L, Freiwald W, Griffiths TD, Guedj C, Hadj-Bouziane F, Harel N, Hiba B, Jung B, Koo B, Laland KN, Leopold DA, Lindenfors P, Meunier M, Mok K, Morrison JH, Nacef J, Nagy J, Pinsk M, Reader SM, Roelfsema MC, Rudko DA, Rushworth MFS, Russ BE, Schmid MC, Sullivan EL, Thiele A, Todorov OS, Tsao D, Ungerleider L, Wilson CRE, Ye FQ, Zarco W, Zhou Y-D (2020): Accelerating the evolution of nonhuman primate neuroimaging. Neuron 105 (4): P600-P603.
  3. Snyder J, Schwiedrzik CM, Vitela AD, Melloni L (2015). How previous experience shapes perception in different sensory modalities. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9: 594. 
  4. Schwiedrzik CM* (2015). What’s up with prefrontal cortex? A commentary on John-Dylan Haynes. Open MIND: 17(C). Frankfurt am Main: MIND Group; reprinted by MIT Press. (* invited) 
  5. Melloni L*, Schwiedrzik CM*, Rodriguez E, Singer W (2009). (Micro)Saccades, corollary activity and cortical oscillations. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(6): 239-245. (* shared first authorship)
  6. Schwiedrzik CM (2009). Retina or visual cortex? The site of phosphene induction by transcranial alternating current stimulation. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 18;3: 6. 
  7. Melloni L, Schwiedrzik CM, Wibral M, Rodriguez E, Singer W (2009). Response to: Yuval-Greenberg et al., “Transient induced gamma-band response in EEG as a manifestation of miniature saccades”, Neuron 58, 429-441. Neuron, 62(1): 8-10.

Dr. Caspar Schwiedrzik Head of Perception and Plasticity Junior Research Group +49 551 39-61371 Contact