Ultra-high magnetic field fMRI at 7 Tesla and higher enables measurement of human brain activity with sub-millimeter spatial resolution allowing to differentiate brain activation at a “mesoscopic" level of cortical layers and cortical columns. Recent experiments show that it is possible to map feature representations in specialised brain areas and to link sub-millimeter activity to cognitive phenomena such as perception, saliency, expectation and consciousness. The high signal-to-noise of ultra-high magnetic fields recently allowed us also to read out the “mind’s eye” from retinotopic activity patterns in early visual cortex. Besides describing relevant experiments, computational deep neuronal network models will be presented that may help to explain brain imaging and behavioural human data. The developed computational architectures may be used to build biologically inspired robotic systems.
Rainer Goebel studied psychology and computer science in Marburg, Germany (1983-1988) and completed his PhD in 1994 at the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. He received the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Advancement award in cognitive science in 1993 sponsored by the German minister of science and education for a publication on the binding problem, and the Heinz Billing award from the Max Planck society in 1994 for developing a neural network software package. From 1995-1999 he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt/Main where he founded the functional neuroimaging group. Since January 2000, he is a full professor for Cognitive Neuroscience at Maastricht University, Netherlands. He is founding director of the Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre (M-BIC) and the driving force of the recently established ultra-high field imaging centre housing 3, 7 and 9.4 Tesla human MRI scanners. He has served as chair of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (2006-2008). Since 2014 he is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and since 2017 he is member of Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Science.