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Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience



One of our aims is to understand the effects of learning on brain activity in early visual areas (specialized in representing detailed visual features) and high-level visual cortical areas (that are closely linked to decision-making). What are the long-term brain changes when we learn what sensory features are relevant, and how do they improve decision-making?

A second aim is to understand the effects of attentional selection on brain activity: what are the changes in early and high-level visual brain areas that enable fast and flexible task-dependent selection of sensory information?

We study these questions in mice performing visually-guided decisions, taking advantage of similarities between the rodent and primate visual systems, and using unique genetic research methods available in mice to measure and manipulate neural circuits.  

By studying brain circuits in both healthy mice and genetic mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, we can begin to unravel what determines both successful and unsuccessful sensory selection.


Collaborators in Cambridge

Prof. Trevor Robbins
Prof. Jeff Dalley
Prof Ole Paulsen 
Prof. Paul Fletcher
Prof. Zoe Kourtzi 

External Collaborators

Dr. Arne Meyer
Prof. Jennifer Linden
Prof. Maneesh Sahani
Prof. John O’Keefe
Prof. Tom Mrsic-Flogel
Dr. Sonja Hofer
Dr. Adil Khan
Prof. Tim Bussey
Prof. Pieter Roelfsema


Key publications: 

Meyer, A. O'Keefe, J., Poort, J., (2020). Two distinct types of eye-head coupling in freely moving mice, Current Biology, Link to Article

Meyer, A.F., Poort, J., O'Keefe, J., Sahani, M., Linden, J.F. (2018) A head-mounted camera system integrates detailed behavioral monitoring with multichannel electrophysiology in freely moving mice. Neuron, Link to Article  

Khan, A., Poort, J., Chadwick, A., Blot, A., Sahani, M., Mrsic-Flogel, T., Hofer, S. (2018). Distinct learning-induced changes in stimulus selectivity and interactions of GABAergic interneuron classes in visual cortex. Nature Neuroscience Link to Article 

Poort, J., Khan, A.G., Pachitariu, M., Nemri, A., Orsolic, I., Krupic, J., Bauza, M., Sahani, M., Keller, G., Mrsic-Flogel, T.D., and Hofer, S.B. (2015). Learning Enhances Sensory and Multiple Non-sensory Representations in Primary Visual Cortex. Neuron, Link to Article

van Kerkoerle, T., Self, M, Dagnino, B., Gariel, MA., Poort, J., van der Togt, C., and Roelfsema, P.R. (2014) Alpha and gamma oscillations characterize feedback and feed-forward processing in monkey visual cortex. PNAS, Link to Article

Pooresmaeili, A., Poort, J., Roelfsema, P.R. (2014) Simultaneous selection by object-based attention in visual and frontal cortex. PNAS, Link to Article

Poort, J., Raudies, F., Wannig, A., Lamme, V.A.F., Neumann, H., Roelfsema, P.R. (2012) The role of attention in figure-ground segregation in areas V1 and V4 of the visual cortex, Neuron, Link to Article

Sir Henry Dale Fellow
University Lecturer
Picture of Dr Jasper  Poort

Contact Details

01223 768092
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