The brain as image processor and generator: towards function-restoring brain-computer-interfaces

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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As neuroscientists are slowly unraveling the mysteries of the brain, neurotechnology like brain-computer-interfaces (BCIs) might become a new standard for medical applications in those with brain injuries. BCIs allow for direct communication between the brain and a device, and could potentially restore links that are broken due to brain damage. In addition, a better understanding of the human mind and its mechanisms could greatly boost the success of these devices.

This dissertation features (high-field) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study human cognitive functioning, as fMRI allows for studying the brain of living humans in great spatial detail. Firstly, the dissertation describes how well brain regions that are important for visual perception can be located between individuals. Some of these regions are in part responsible for recognizing objects like faces, bodies, places and motion. Secondly, differences in functional organization of the brain were explored between individuals by simulating the placement of a visual cortical prosthesis. Such a prosthesis can bypass the (broken) connections between the eye and brain in blind people, and potentially restore a rudimentary form of vision. Finally, new techniques were presented that show that visual perception and mental imagery are closely related, and allow for reading letter shapes directly from the mind. Together, this dissertation adds new foundations for the development of neurotechnological applications.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Goebel, Rainer, Supervisor
  • Senden, Mario, Co-Supervisor
  • Reithler, Joel, Co-Supervisor
Award date3 Jun 2022
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464582819
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • visual perception
  • visual mental imagery
  • brain-computer-interfaces

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