Prof. Dr. Klaus-Peter Hoffmann, Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology
My main research interest is the comparative neurobiology of cortical and subcortical interactions in the organisation of visuomotor behaviour. This includes in-vitro work and the analysis of brain functions in different vertebrates up to trained monkeys.
For example, we are interested to clarify the role of the cortical areas MT and MST in perception and actions like control of slow eye movements and visually guided arm movements. We investigate the different roles of neurons in these areas physiologically demonstrating their connections with (sub-)cortical structures whose functional role in the control of eye- and arm movements is known. Studying the ontogenesis of slow eye movements leads to insight about the innate mechanisms of visuo-motor control.
Moreover, we study cortical and subcortical structures involved in the control of arm-movements. In particular, we discovered that the superior colliculus is part of the network controlling visually guided grasping. The connection of the colliculus with parietal areas and the pre-motor areas in the frontal lobe is of special interest. The work on trained monkeys leads to specific experiments in human subjects using psychophysical and imaging techniques. Thus, we contribute to the understanding of the parallel pathways in the visual and visuo-motor system.