Ben is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Perception Group of the Department of Experimental Psychology at Utrecht University, Netherlands.
Bens research aims to characterise sensory and cognitive systems in the human brain, the neural responses and computations within these systems, and how these are affected by sensory stimulus characteristics and attention. His approach combines development and application of cutting edge neuroimaging approaches with computational modelling and behavioural experiments.
His research began by investigating the early visual system as a model of neural processing. He extended approaches to study neural response properties from invasive animal neurophysiological studies to non-invasive neuroimaging (functional MRI), allowing their application to the human brain, clinical disorders and understanding human perception. He has applied these methods widely to characterise neural interactions, binocular visual integration, visual attention, oscillatory electrical brain activity, and fine-scale functional connectivity.
Ben's recent work has focussed on applying the same methods to investigate neural responses underlying cognition in the human association cortex. By extending my non-invasive methods to cognition, this work aims to characterise increasingly advanced cognitive functions that are absent or very different in animal models of the brain. He began by showing that object number and size processing share many properties with early sensory processing. In 2015 Ben started my own research group to extend this work. He now collaborates widely to investigate how visual space and number processing differs between cultures and in clinical disorders.
Ben finished my DPhil at Oxford University with Prof Oliver Braddick in 2009. Ben then worked as a postdoc with Prof Serge Dumoulin at Utrecht. In 2015 he moved to Coimbra on a starter grant from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. In 2016 he returned to Utrecht to take an Assistant Professorship in the Perception group of the Department of Experimental Psychology.
Along with peer-reviewed scientific papers, Ben also writes popular science articles about the relationship between visual neuroscience and visual arts.