Justin Ales Research
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Contact Info:
Justin Ales

2.63 Psychology & Neuroscience Building

Scool of Psychology & Neuroscience
St Mary's Quad
St Andrews University
St Andrews, KY14 9JP

About my research

Humans can perform complicated tasks involving a range of behavioral goals across a wide range of environments. This is an immensly difficult task that requires coordinated coordinated activation of a large number of neurons. But in studying human performance the reductionist nature of scientific inquiry has contributed to a view that compartmentalizes individual functions to separate cortical areas, assigning a role of purely feed-forward processing for putative sensory cortex, and giving high-level executive cortex full responsibility for aggregating appropriate evidence while selecting and executing an appropriate action. Modern neurophysoloigcal research has cast doubt on this simplistic dichotomy by showing that cortical responses throughout the continuum from perception to action modify their properties in response to the environment through both top-down and bottom-up mechanisms. 

My research encompasses three topics: neuroimaging, vision, and computation. I develop advances for neuroimaging that combine both electroencephalographic (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). I utilize these neuroimaging techniques to study the computational mechanisms that visual cortex utilizes for information processing. I am especially interested in how the brain modulates its information processing to optimally respond to variations in the environment caused by both changes in stimulus properties and by changes to behavioral goals.

I received my B.S. degree in Biomedical/Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California. I completed my Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley under the supervision of Dr. Stanley A. Klein.