About me


Welcome to my site,
I am an Assistant Professor (tenured) in the Perception Group of the Department of Experimental Psychology at Utrecht University, Netherlands.

My research aims to characterise sensory and cognitive systems in the human brain, the neural responses and computations within these systems, and how these are affected by sensory stimulus characteristics and attention. My approach combines development and application of cutting-edge neuroimaging approaches with computational modelling and behavioural experiments.

This began by investigating the early visual system as a model of neural processing. I extended approaches to study neural response properties from invasive animal neurophysiological studies to non-invasive neuroimaging (functional MRI), allowing their application to the human brain, clinical disorders and understanding human perception. I have applied these methods widely to characterise neural interactions, binocular visual integration, visual attention, oscillatory electrical brain activity, and fine-scale functional connectivity. 

My recent work has focussed on applying the same methods to investigate neural responses underlying cognition in the human association cortex. By extending my non-invasive methods to cognition, I aim to characterise increasingly advanced cognitive functions that are absent or very different in animal models of the brain. I began by showing that object number and size processing share many properties with early sensory processing. In 2015 I started my own research group to extend this work. I now collaborate widely to investigate how visual space and number processing differs between cultures and in clinical disorders.    

I finished my DPhil at Oxford University with Prof Oliver Braddick in 2009. I then worked as a postdoc with Prof Serge Dumoulin at Utrecht University. In 2015 I moved to Coimbra on a starter grant from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. In 2016 I returned to Utrecht to take an Assistant Professorship in the Perception group of the Department of Experimental Psychology. In 2017 I received a mid-career 5-year Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Along with peer-reviewed scientific papers, I also write popular science articles about the relationship between visual neuroscience and visual arts, and I am the muse for a photo blog about contemporary art.

News:

September 18th 2017:
Ben's new study with Wietske Zuiderbaan & Serge Dumoulin, entitled "Phase-synchronization-based parcellation of resting state fMRI signals reveals topographically organized clusters in early visual cortex" is now available online in PLoS One.

September 1st 2017:
Ben's new study with colleagues from Groningen, entitled "Phase-synchronization-based parcellation of resting state fMRI signals reveals topographically organized clusters in early visual cortex" is now available online in NeuroImage.

August 9th 2017:
Ben's first review paper, entitled "Comparing Parietal Quantity-Processing Mechanisms between Humans and Macaques" has been published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

July 15th 2017:
Ben's new study with colleagues from UMC Utrecht, entitled "Correspondence between fMRI and electrophysiology during visual motion processing in human MT" is now available online in NeuroImage.

April 7th 2017:
Ben's new study with Serge Dumoulin and colleagues from UMC Utrecht and the Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, entitled "Separate spatial and temporal frequency tuning to visual motion in human MT+ measured with ECoG" is now available online in Scientific Reports.

February 13th 2017:
Ben's new study, entitled "Can responses to basic non-numerical visual features explain neural numerosity responses?" has been published in NeuroImage.

January 23rd 2017:
Ben's new study, entitled "A network of topographic numerosity maps in human association cortex" has been published in the new journal Nature Human Behaviour. 

December 2nd 2016:
Today at the Donders Institute's Perception Day meeting, Ben will give a talk at 11:45 entitled "A numerosity processing network throughout human association cortex". 

November 14th 2016:
Today at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, Ben will chair the session entitled ""Representation of Objects and Numbers Across Ventral and Dorsal Pathways" in room 23A from 13:00-16:15. 
Ben will give a talk in this session at 15:30, entitled "A network of topographic numerosity maps throughout human association cortex".

September 23rd 2016:
Today at the Champalimaud Neuroscience Symposium, Maria Silva will present poster number 79.

September 22nd 2016:
Ben's new study with colleagues from UMC Utrecht, entitled "Separate spatial and temporal frequency tuning to visual motion in human MT+ measured with ECoG" is now available online in Human Brain Mapping.

August 29th 2016:
Today at ECVP Ben will be speaking in Room 3 at 10:00. Ben & Steph Kristensen will also present poster number 5.

June 30th 2016:
Ben will be chairing a nanosymposium at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego on Monday November 14th, 13:00-16:15. The session title is "Representation of Objects and Numbers Across Ventral and Dorsal Pathways".

June 22nd 2016:
Ben will be speaking at at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego on Monday November 14th. The talk is entitled "A numerosity processing network throughout human association cortex", co-authored by Serge Dumoulin.

May 23rd 2016:
Ben just had a dispatch review published at Current Biology.

May 4th 2016:
On June 13th Ben will be speaking at Neurospin, Paris. His talk will be called "Imaging representations of quantity in human association cortex".

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