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Barbara Dillenburger

  • PhD
  • Postdoc
  • MPI for Neurological Research
  • 7h-indexImpact measure calculated using publication and citation counts. Updated daily.
  • 144CitationsNumber of citations received by Barbara's publications. Updated daily.

Other IDs

Research interests

in human subjects.eye trackingVisual System. Psychophysics

About

Our sensory cortices have to deal with a vast inflow of signals from the outside world and use them to create the world as we perceive it. They do so in cooperation with cortical and subcortical structures that work in sometimes stable, sometimes dynamic networks. These networks integrate incoming signals with both spatial and temporal contexts to tell us, what is most likely "real" or important. I study sensory, mostly visual, processes underlying the integration of context and feature information to construct our percept of the 'real' world. * Dynamic integration for spatial perception With Michael Morgan at the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research in Koeln, I am currently studying the effects of saccadic adaptation on spatial perception, by means of eye tracking and psychophysics. Another line of research are the effects of dynamic changes in luminance and size on size perception. * Perception of chromatic motion With Christian Wehrhahn at the Max Planck Institue for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen, I studied the contribution of luminance and chromatic signals to motion perception. We found that in a bar stimulus, localization of motion became far worse under isoluminance than motion discrimination. Our results were consistent with the interpretation of a bypass from LGN to area MT, allowing chromatic information to affect motion processing, even when luminance contrast detection (localization) mechanisms in V1 fail. We also measured the contribution of different cone types to the perception of brightness in a large cohort of subjects, and found that S-cones contribute to brightness processing in the majority of subjects, but that their contribution is small relative to that of L and M cones, and may be missed if only few subjects are tested. * Processing and perception of illusory contours With Christian Wehrhahn (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen) and Anna Roe (Vanderbilt University, Department of Psychology, Nashville, Tennessee), I have studied the neural mechanisms underlying illusory contour perception. To understand how context information is used to construct the percept of a line, that is not even physically present, I have used psychophysical (in humans) and physiological (in non-human primates) techniques. We measured the timecourse of IC induction and establishment of the final 'product', the illusory contour percept. Also, we probed the interaction between real and illusory contours: high contrast parallel real lines, and subthreshold orthogonal lines interfere with the IC percept, whereas other lines have little effect. The effect at subthreshold shows that invisible does not equal ineffective, and suggests an interaction at the earliest cortical stage. To understand at which cortical stage such interactions may occur, I measured single cell responses in anesthetized non-human primates to different illusory contour types, and the effects of interacting real lines, in areas V1 and V2, using classical and a newly designed IC stimulus. * Research on Tactile and Nociceptive Processing With Limin Chen, at the Vanderbilt Institute for Imaging Sciences, I have studied the cortical and thalamic structures underlying the first stages of touch and pain processing, using high field (9.4T) fMRI, optical imaging, single unit physiology, and histology. We found a novel pain-specific cortical structure, that has been hypothesized previously but not reported. We were also able to resolve smaller nuclei in thalamus involved in heat and pain processing. Our results provide a clue as to the specific roles of some of these nuclei, and add to the knowledge about the networks underlying the processing of painful heat.

Groups

Co-authors (15)

Publications (5)

  • Saccades to explicit and virtual features in the Poggendorff figure show perceptual biases

    • Dillenburger B
    • Morgan M
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  • Geometrical features underlying the perception of collinearity

    • Morgan M
    • Dillenburger B
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  • Computation of relative numerosity of circular dot textures.

    • Raphael S
    • Dillenburger B
    • Morgan M
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  • Observers can voluntarily shift their psychometric functions without losing sensitivity.

    • Morgan M
    • Dillenburger B
    • Raphael S
    • et al.
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  • Vastly differing variances in the ratio of red and green cones between female and male human observers

    • Dillenburger B
    • Wehrhahn C
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Professional experience

Postdoc

MPI for Neurological Research

March 2010 - Present

Postdoc

Vanderbilt University Institute for Imaging Science

January 2007 - December 2009(3 years)

Postdoc

Vanderbilt University

August 2005 - December 2007(2 years)

Education

Dr. rer. nat.

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, MPI for Biological Cybernetics

January 2002 - December 2005(4 years)

Dipl. Biol

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

October 1995 - December 2001(6 years)