- Series Name:
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds
Stephen Lisberger, PhD Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, Duke University
Dr. Lisberger is a systems neuroscientist whose research has centered primarily on understanding how the working brain learns and generates eye movements. He has sought to use studies of two model systems, the vestibulo-ocular reflex and smooth pursuit eye movements, to understand how the brain solves general problems that are necessary for diverse brain functions. After training monkeys in specific visual tasks, he has combined single cell recordings and electrical stimulation at multiple locations spanning from primary visual cortex to brainstem nuclei and cerebellum. His work has established the anatomical and physiological basis for motor learning in the vestibulo-ocular reflex, including demonstrating probably sites for neural plasticity of this reflex and the underlying mechanisms. In a distinct line of research, he has used the smooth pursuit eye movement to identify the neural substrates of sequential stages of the transformation from sensory input to motor output.