Welcome to the Huxlin Lab
Can the damaged, adult visual system repair itself? To what extent can it do so? What are the principles governing such plasticity? How can knowledge we gain enhance vision restoration efforts?
The Visual Perceptual Restoration Laboratory (VisPeR Lab) studies the impact of visual system damage on behavior and seeks to develop new approaches to induce visual restoration after such damage. For the last few decades, our laboratory has been at the forefront of research into cortically-induced blindness, applying the knowledge we have gained to devise increasingly effective training paradigms for occipital stroke patients (a.k.a. those with hemianopia, quadrantanopia or cerebral visual impairment). Key to this effort is our ability to use perceptual training together with attentional manipulations, cross-modal cues, virtual reality, non-invasive, transcranial electrical stimulation - among other approaches - to restore some of the vision lost. We were the first to attempt visual restoration training in subacute stroke patients – the efficacy of which is currently being evaluated in a clinical trial (ClinicalTrials.gov # NCT04798924). Multiple ongoing projects include both in-house and collaborative work with colleagues at the University of Rochester and several key institutions nationally and internationally (see below). Overall, we seek deeper insights into how residual visual circuitry is altered both by cortical damage and training. Better characterization of the perceptual plasticity inherent in such damaged systems is essential to design more effective restorative treatments. We also hope that the principles of therapeutic design we develop for cortically-induced blindness can ultimately be applied to other forms of visual impairment that afflict patients world-wide.
Current collaborators: Duje Tadin (UR-BCS), Brent Johnson (UR-Biostats), Marisa Carrasco (NYU), Elisha Merriam (NIMH), Holly Bridge (Oxford, UK), Sara Ajina (UCL, UK), Gabriel Diaz (RIT), Brett Fajen (RPI), Martina Poletti (UR-BCS), Farran Briggs (UR-NSC), Kristina Nielsen (Hopkins), Lorella Battelli (Harvard), Geoffrey Aguirre (UPenn), Friedhelm Hummel and Estelle Raffin (EFPL, Switzerland).