Prof. Guy Orban
over 290 papers in peer –reviewed journals;
one scientific bestseller: Neuronal operations in the visual cortex, Springer 1984; which was for 20 years the mandatory companion of PhD students in visual neuroscience
Summary of scientific achievements at KU Leuven ( Belgium) in four reviews
1) Progress in Neurobiology 1998 ( Neural basis of successive visual discrimination in human and non human primates)
2) Physiological reviews ( properties of single extrastriate neurons)
3) Annual reviews of Neuroscience 2011 ( representation of 3D surfaces in the human and non human cortex: single cell and fMRI data)
4) Neuron 2014: achievements with alert monkey fMRI pioneered in Leuven
ERC Project - PARIETALACTION
To understand the contribution of the posterior parietal cortex in action observation, as well for actions performed with natural as with artificial (tools) effectors.
Techniques; psychophysics, fMRI, intracerebral recordings and single cell recordings in humans (collaboration with Prof R Andersen, Caltech).
Achievements so far:
1) Development of psychophysical task probing the visual processing aspects of action observation, and of tasks comparing the visual and semantic processing of observed actions
2) Demonstration of the effects of observing other’s action stereoscopically. These stereo effects occur only in premotor cortex, suggesting that at this level the intrinsic parameters of the observed action are processed.
3) Demonstration that different classes of observed actions are processed in different PPC regions.
4) Development of conceptual framework for action observation: distinction visual perception, and semantics; distinction of observed action classes , exemplars and subordinate exemplars; two aspects of observed actions: identity and intrinsic parameters ( effector and kinematics)
5) Demonstration of selectivity of phAIP neurons for observed manipulation class AND exemplars
6) Demonstration of difference in tuning width of single voxels in occipito-temporal cortex and PPC
7) Demonstration of selective involvement of PPC in observed action discrimination
8) Demonstration of selectivity of rostral PFt for observed tool actions, in intracerebral recordings confirming fMRI results
9) Demonstration of juxtaposition of contact responses and observed skin displacement actions in the intracerebral
In summary, a complete new understanding of action observation is being developing.