| ||Principal Investigators
|Chris I. Baker, Ph.D.
||Dr. Baker is Chief of the Unit on Learning and Plasticity in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. He received his B.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge in England in 1995 and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 1999, where he worked with Dr. David Perrett. During a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition in Pittsburgh, he worked with both Carl Olson and Marlene Behrmann on combined monkey neurophysiological and human behavioral studies of visual object representation and learning. In 2003, he moved to MIT to work with Nancy Kanwisher using functional imaging techniques to investigate learning and plasticity in human cortex. Dr. Baker arrived at the NIMH in the summer of 2006.
|The aim of the Unit on Learning and Plasticity is to better understand how the structure, function and selectivity of the cortex change with experience or impairment, even in adulthood. Toward this goal, there are two main avenues of research, principally using brain-imaging techniques. The first avenue concerns how experience and learning change the neural and cognitive representations of sensory stimuli with a current focus on vision. For example, what are the neural changes underlying our enormous capacity to learn to recognize new objects and to make fine-grained discriminations among those objects? The second avenue concerns how the cortex adapts following damage to the nervous system (either peripheral or central). For example, what is the impact of macular degeneration (loss of foveal vision and consequent deprivation of corresponding cortex) on the cortical processing of visual stimuli? Elucidating the nature and extent of cortical plasticity is critical for understanding brain function throughout life.
|Representative Selected Recent Publications:
- Kravitz DJ, Peng CS, Baker CI .
Real-world scene representations in high-level visual cortex: it's the spaces more than the places. J Neurosci, May 18;31(20):7322-33, 2011. (View)
- Kravitz D J, Saleem K, Baker C I, Mishkin M.
A new neural framework for visuospatial processing. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 12, 217-230, 2011. (View)
- Kravitz D J, Kriegeskorte N,
Baker C I. High-level visual object representations
by position. Cerebral Cortex, 20,
2916-25, 2010. (View)
- Op de Beeck H P and Baker C
I. The neural basis of visual object
learning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14, 22-30,
- Chan A W-Y, Kravitz D J,
Baker C. Cortical representations
of bodies and
faces are strongest
Neuroscience, 13, 417-418, 2010. (View)
- Kriegeskorte N, Simmons W K,
P S F, Baker
C I: Circular
- the dangers
of double dipping. Nature
Neuroscience, 12, 535-540, 2009. (View)