Using virtual reality to study the function and neural circuits in the mouse visual system

Leuven - Master projects/internships
More than two weeks ago

Create virtual reality video games to enable the study of the nervous system during realistic behaviors.

The main aim of the lab is to understand the fundamental principles underlying the function of neural circuits during behavior. Towards this goal we investigate how sensory information is processed along the neural pathways that generate visually guided behavior. The lab uses two-photon calcium imaging, high-density probe recordings, optogenetics and computer based analytical methods of neural activity in awake behaving animals. Using these techniques, we study the activity of genetically defined neural populations in response to visual stimulation and perturb components of these circuits to understand their function in visual processing and visually guided behavior. Ultimately, the experiments are designed to understand the fundamental principles of sensory information processing in the brain. The visiting students are expected to have a decent background in computer programming, instrumentation and an interest in video game development. Together With the visiting student we will aim to build and use a virtual reality system that will allow us to record neural activity while the animal performs visually guided tasks, i.e. plays a video game. These experiments will allow us to investigate the processing of visual information with and without sensory feedback.‚Äč

Type of project: Thesis, Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6-12 months

Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Bioengineering

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Karl Farrow (

Only for self-supporting students.

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