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Joram van Rheede

Postdoctoral Researcher

Investigating the development and function of neuronal circuits in sensory cortex


After an undergraduate degree in Cognitive Sciences at University College Utrecht, I worked in the eye tracking division of market research company Intomart GfK as part of an eye-tracking research team led by Dr. Ignace Hooge. I next moved to the University of Oxford for a Wellcome Trust MSc and DPhil studentship in Neuroscience, where my DPhil project in the lab of Prof. Colin Akerman focused on the experience-dependent emergence of neural activity in the developing visual system of Xenopus Laevis. I used single-cell electrophysiology and receptive field mapping to demonstrate a new role for GABAergic transmission in recruiting previously silent neurons into the active network.

Joining the Oxford Smart Specs Project in the lab of Prof. Christopher Kennard and Dr. Stephen Hicks as a postdoctoral researcher offered an opportunity to contribute to a very translational project, investigating the benefit of wearable technology as an aid to the visually impaired. I introduced new measures for assessing human visual performance to quantify the benefit of assistive technologies, and investigated strategies for sensory substitution.

Once this project moved away from the academic sphere and into a spinout company (OxSight), I returned to the Akerman lab to focus on the development of neural circuits in the mammalian cortex. To understand how the computational function of a neuron is determined by the progenitor cell it is derived from during development, I use electrophysiological recordings of neural populations combined with sensory stimulation and optogenetic tools.

Next to my research, I have taken on an undergraduate teaching role at one of Oxford’s colleges (Christ Church), where I teach a broad range of tutorial courses ranging from Introduction to Psychology to Behavioural Neuroscience and Perception.

Recent publications

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