WELCOME TO

SCHIRA LAB

EXAMINING THE BASIS OF VISUAL PROCESSING IN HUMANS.

The accurate perception of visual information once it is received in the visual cortex is crucial for successfully interacting with the world. It helps us navigate, identify objects and recognise people.

The Brain Imaging and Perception lab at the University of Wollongong is headed by Dr Mark Schira and spans the Schools of Psychology, Computer Science and Engineering.

We have a broad range of research projects under way in the areas of retinotopic mapping, natural image processing, psychophysics, susceptibility artefact correction, high resolution anatomical brain atlasing and automated segmentation of functional MR images.

ABOUT US

MEET OUR RESEARCHERS

MARK SCHIRA
Schira Lab Eponym
Dr Schira is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong. He has a Dr. rer. nat. (Doctorate in Natural Sciences) in Human Neurobiology from the University of Bremen and Charité; University Hospital in Berlin. Mark began his research lab at the University of Wollongong in 2013.
ZOEY ISHERWOOD
Post Doctoral Researcher
Dr Isherwood was awarded a PhD from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 2019 and a Bachelor of Science (Hons. I) majoring in Neuroscience at UNSW in 2013. Her main research interests are natural scene statistics, early visual cortex and retinotopic mapping. Zoey specialises in fMRI and psychophysics.
HARRIET BOYD TAYLOR
PhD Candidate
Ms Boyd Taylor completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons. I) at the University of Wollongong, Australia in 2014. She commenced a PhD in 2015, examining the retinotopic organisation of human V4, vascular effects on the BOLD response and the impact of susceptibility artefacts on retinotopic maps in fMRI.
SOAN DUONG
PhD Candidate
Ms Soan Duong received her B.E. degree in Information Technology from Le Quy Don Technical University, Vietnam in 2010. In 2014 she was awarded her M.E. degree in Computer Science from Dongguk University, South Korea. Soan is currently pursuing a PhD in functional MRI and brain imaging in the School of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Wollongong.
PAUL ANG
PhD Candidate
Mr Paul Ang has a Masters in Electrical, Computer and Telecommunications Engineering (2017-2018) and a Bachelor of Computer Science (Dean's Scholar) (2015-2017) from the University of Wollongong, Australia. He has a Diploma in Science (Computer Science and Computer Mathematics) from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Malaysia. Paul is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Wollongong, Australia focusing on his main research interests of deep learning, computer vision and medical imaging.
WEI SHI KOO
PhD Student
Ms Wei Shi Koo completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons. II, 1) at the University of Wollongong, Australia in 2018. Her main research interests are retinotopic mapping and early visual cortex.
MICHELLE ROBERTS
Honours Student
Michelle is currently completing her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in Schira Lab, where she is researching the sensitivity of the visual system to the movement of natural scenes.
WILLIAM NEAVES
Honours Student
William in the process of completing his Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), where he is studying susceptibility artefacts in MRI, focussing on the sensitivity of echo-planar imaging to magnetic field inhomogeneities.

ALUMNI

KEVIN AQUINO
ALEXANDER PUCKETT

OUR RESEARCH

High resolution human brain atlas
How much can we see in an MRI of the living human brain?
Read more
A BOLD approach to natural scene statistics
Is the human visual system tuned in to nature?
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Vascular effects on the BOLD response
How do veins impact our ability to interpret fMRI data?
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Correcting susceptibility artefacts in fMRI
Can we improve our results by correcting distortions that occur in fMRI?
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The interaction of function and anatomy in early visual cortex
How does the anatomy of the visual cortex relate to its function?
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The tuning of the visual system to the movement of natural scenes
Are we naturally tuned in to the movement of the world around us?
Read more
The sensitivity of echo-planar imaging to magnetic field inhomogeneities
How important are individual differences when looking to correct problematic regions in fMRI data?
Read more

WORKSHOPS

UOW MRI Workshop 3: Hippocampus

On November 7th and 8th, 2019, the Social Sciences Faculty Research Group MIBF presented the 3rd UOW MRI workshop.  This workshop focussed on analysis methods for the hippocampus.

The practical components of the workshop were realised using the [email protected] workbench.

We were honoured to have presentations given by Tom Shaw from the University of Queensland, and Yann Chye from Monash University in Melbourne.

Thank you to our excellent presenters, organisers and attendees for making this workshop a success! We also thank the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Group Program at UOW for their support.

Links to the video recordings of these presentations as well as power point slides and other resources are included below.

KEY PUBLICATIONS

2019

Oliveira, ML., Pang, JC., Robinson, PA., Liu, X., & Schira, MM. (2019). Feasibility of Funtional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Ocular Dominance and Orientation Preference in Primary Visual Cortex. PLoS Comp. Biol. Accepted 2019.09.23

Mancini, F., Wang, AP., Schira, MM., Isherwood, ZJ., McAuley, JH., Iannetti, GD., Sereno, MI., Mosley, GL., & Rae, CD. (2019). Fine-grained mapping of cortical somatotopies in chronic Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. J. of Neurosci. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2005-18.2019

Viengkham, C., Isherwood, Z., & Spehar, B. (2019). Fractal-Scaling Properties as Aesthetic Primitives in Vision and Touch. Axiomathes. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-019-09444-z

Boyd Taylor, H. G., Puckett, A. M., Isherwood, Z. J., & Schira, M. M. (2019). Vascular effects on the BOLD response and the retinotopic mapping of hV4. PLoS ONE 14(6): e0204388. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204388

2018

Duong, S., Schira, M., Phung, L., Bouzerdoum, A., & Boyd Taylor, H. (2018). Anatomy-guided inverse-gradient susceptibility artifact correction method for high-resolution fMRI. IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP): Proceedings.

Pang, J., Aquino, K., Robinson, P., Lacy, T., & Schira, M. (2018). Biophysically based method to deconvolve spatiotemporal neurovascular signals from fMRI data. Journal of Neuoscience Methods, 308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2018.07.009

2017

Isherwood, Z., Schira, M., & Spehar, B. (2017). The tuning of human visual cortex to variations in the 1/f α amplitude spectra and fractal properties of synthetic noise images. NeuroImage, 146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.10.013

2016

Puckett, A., Aquino, K., Robinson, P., Breakspear, M., & Schira, M. (2016). The spatiotemporal hemodynamic response function for depth-dependent functional imaging of human cortex. NeuroImage, 139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.06.019

2015 and earlier

Schira, M., Tyler, C., & Rosa, M. (2012). The (Un)folding of striate cortex. Current Biology, 22 (24). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2012.11.003

Schira, M., Tyler, C., Breakspear, M., & Spehar, B. (2009). The foveal confluence in human visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 29 (28). https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1760-09.2009

Schira, M., Wade, A., Tyler, C. (2007). Two dimensional mapping of the central and parafoveal visual field to human visual cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 97. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00972.2006