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NextGenVis: Training the Next Generation of European Visual Neuroscientists

A new European network

NextGenVis  (“Training the Next Generation of European Visual Neuroscientists”) is a team consisting of European researchers from the health care sector, universities and private companies. In 2014 the team received a Marie Curie Grant for the training of 10 early stage researchers in the field of computational visual neuroscience, and research activities will start in 2015. The project spans over 15 labs and companies and brings together unique expertise and resources in brain imaging, psychology, neurology, ophthalmology, and computer science. [Meet the partners].

A computational approach to stability and plasticity

The human visual brain can learn and adapt to change, which solves many of the problems posed by an ever-changing visual environment. However, to maintain a consistent overall representation of the visual world, the brain also has to retain previously acquired neuronal mechanisms. The key is to strike a balance between plasticity and stability. The research carried out within the NextGenVis network focuses on this balance between cortical plasticity and stability in health and disease – with a strong focus on the neurocomputational basis of the visual system.

Vision as a dynamic system

Your vision changes with every look you take. The second time you will visit this webpage, you will already look at it in a different way than during your first visit. How does the brain cause you to change your viewing? But also throughout our lifetime, vision may change for various reasons. Common causes are eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. How does the brain respond to the altered information from the eyes? Will the architecture of the visual cortex stay the same, or will reorganization take place? There is a rapid development of visual aids and restorative technologies such as retinal implants, but in order to successfully apply these it is crucial to understand the visual system – and how it responds to changes. Within NextGenVis the researchers strive to understand the visual system as a whole, including the eyes, the visual pathways and the brain, and use this knowledge in medical and computer applications. [Learn more about our research]

PhD opportunities

The research project is called NextGenVis for a reason: the goal is to take vision research further by Training the Next Generation of Visual neuroscientists. Training includes both academic research and collaboration with the health care and high-tech industry. Are you interested in research in visual neuroscience or computer vision, are you still in an early stage of your career and would you like to become part of our team? NextGenVis is right now recruiting PhD candidates. [Call for applications or see also on Vacancies]