Jochen Ditterich, Ph.D.

 Jochen  Ditterich, Ph.D.


  • Associate Professor
  • Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Neural Mechanisms Linking Perception and Action

Research Summary

Our lab is interested in neural mechanisms underlying higher-order brain functions linking perception and action, especially decision-making. We are addressing the question how the brain processes sensory information and combines it with other information in order to select what action to take next and when to take that action. These mechanisms have mainly been studied from a psychological point of view, whereas neurophysiologists have largely concentrated on lower-level mechanisms. We are bridging this gap by utilizing both behavioral and neurophysiological methods and by using mathematical models for exploring potential neural mechanisms. The goal of our research is to provide a solid foundation for understanding human choice behavior, the neural implementation of decision mechanisms, as well as problems with decision-making in neurological and psychiatric disorders.

In addition, our lab is also active in the area of neuroengineering, developing new technology that allows neuroscientists to address questions or test hypotheses that are difficult or impossible to investigate with currently available techniques.

Select Publications

Perugini A, Ditterich J, Basso MA (2016) Patients with Parkinson’s Disease Show Impaired Use of Priors in Conditions of Sensory Uncertainty. Current Biology 26:1902-1910

Shadlen MN, Kiani R, Newsome WT, Gold JI, Wolpert DM, Zylberberg A, Ditterich J, de Lafuente V, Yang T, Roitman J (2016) Comment on "Single-trial spike trains in parietal cortex reveal discrete steps during decision-making". Science 351:1406

Bollimunta A, Totten D, Ditterich J (2012) Neural dynamics of choice: Single-trial analysis of decision-related activity in parietal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 32:12684-12701

Churchland AK, Ditterich J (2012) New advances in understanding decisions among multiple alternatives. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 22:920-926

Bollimunta A, Ditterich J (2012) Local computation of decision-relevant net sensory evidence in parietal cortex. Cerebral Cortex 22:903-917

Sperka DJ, Ditterich J (2011) SPLASh: a software tool for stereotactic planning of recording chamber placement and electrode trajectories. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics 5:1

Ditterich J (2010) A comparison between mechanisms of multi-alternative perceptual decision making: Ability to explain human behavior, predictions for neurophysiology, and relationship with decision theory. Frontiers in Neuroscience 4:184

Wendelken C, Ditterich J, Bunge SA, Carter CS (2009) Stimulus and response conflict processing during perceptual decision making. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 9:434-447

Niwa M, Ditterich J (2008) Perceptual Decisions between Multiple Directions of Visual Motion. Journal of Neuroscience 28:4435-4445

Ditterich J (2006) Evidence for time-variant decision making. European Journal of Neuroscience 24:3628-3641

Ditterich J (2006) Stochastic models of decisions about motion direction: Behavior and physiology. Neural Networks 19:981-1012

Hanks TD, Ditterich J, Shadlen MN (2006) Microstimulation of macaque area LIP affects decision-making in a motion discrimination task. Nature Neuroscience 9:682-689

Ditterich J, Mazurek ME, Shadlen MN (2003) Microstimulation of visual cortex affects the speed of perceptual decisions. Nature Neuroscience 6:891-898

Ditterich J, Keller I, Eggert T, Straube A (2002) Modeling visuospatial perception in neglect patients. Biological Cybernetics 86:41-57

Ditterich J, Eggert T (2001) Improving the homogeneity of the magnetic field in the magnetic search coil technique. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 48:1178-1185

Ditterich J, Eggert T, Straube A (2000) Relation between the metrics of the presaccadic attention shift and of the saccade before and after saccadic adaptation. Journal of Neurophysiology 84:1809-1813

Ditterich J, Eggert T, Straube A (2000) The role of the attention focus in the visual information processing underlying saccadic adaptation. Vision Research 40:1125-1134

Ditterich J, Eggert T, Straube A (1998) Fixation errors and timing in sequences of memory-guided saccades. Behavioural Brain Research 95:205-217


Dept. of Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior

Neuroscience Graduate Group

Applied Mathematics Graduate Group