The processing of sensory information from the eye, ear, or tactile system into its „internal representation“ will be investigated, analysed and modelled with a multidisciplinary approach. Both the structure and function of certain subsystems will be considered (e.g., neural networks in the retina) as well as their respective cooperative performance in well-defined psychophysical tasks (such as, e.g., loudness perception in normal and hearing-impaired listeners). Special emphasis is placed on object perception and the physiological basis of object representation which is presumably characterized by similarities and interactions across sensory systems. Since the research methods employed cover molecular genetics, single-cell electrophysiology, human and animal psychophysics, EEG recording, fMRT, and numerical modelling, they provide a broad methodological frame for high-level Ph.D. projects. Parts of the results will be used for clinical and technical applications such as improved interpretation of functional images in neurosensory tasks or improved man-machine-communication by employing auditory-model based processing techniques.
The applicants expect that a substantial progress can be made in this area of information processing by a close interaction between neurobiology, psychophysics, numerical modelling and information-technology driven development of algorithms. Also, a special contribution is maintained to train highly qualified young researchers in this rapidly developing and fascinating field.