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Welcome!

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I am David Richter a cognitive neuroscientist interested in how we perceive the world around us.

In particular, I study how predictions shape sensory processing, how we learn from statistical regularities, and how consciousness arises in the brain.

Currently, I am working as a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of María Ruz at CIMCYC in the beautiful city of Granada. Previously, I was a postdoc with Jan Theeuwes at the VU Amsterdam. Before that, I was a postdoc in the Predictive Brain Lab of Floris de Lange at Donders Institute, where I also contributed to a multi-centre adversarial collaboration aimed at Accelerating Research on Consciousness.

During my PhD, under the supervision of Floris de Lange, I primarily investigated predictive processing throughout the sensory brain (link to my thesis).

You can find my scientific publications here - all open access.

News

05 April 2024

New preprint published on bioRxiv:

Proactive distractor suppression in early visual cortex

In this fMRI study (Dirk van Moorselaar, Jan Theeuwes and I) show how implicit statistical learning of distractor contingencies shapes visual processing in early visual cortex (EVC). Specifically, we show that distractor suppression arises proactively in EVC.

Click here for a summary.

01 March 2024

Marie Curie fellowship and postdoc in Granada:

I just started my postdoc in María Ruz's lab at CIMCYC at the University of Granada.

In the context of my Marie Curie fellowship, and in collaboration with María, I will continue my work on sensory processing and in particular how task and context shape predictive processes.

23 August 2023

New preprint published on bioRxiv:

High-level prediction errors in low-level visual cortex

In this paper we (Tim Kietzmann, Floris de Lange and I) ask what kind of surprise drives the upregulated sensory response often reported for surprising compared to expected inputs!

Click here for a summary.

27 June 2023

New preprint published on bioRxiv:

An adversarial collaboration to critically evaluate theories of consciousness

After years of hard work by the members of the Cogitate Consortium we are proud to finally publish the first results of our project!

16 May 2023

New paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience:
Conceptual associations generate sensory predictions.

In this paper we (Chuyao Yan, Floris de Lange and I) ask whether conceptual (semantic) associations result in sensory predictions. Interestingly, we find that conceptual associations modulate sensory processing throughout the ventral visual stream!

Click here for a summary.

02 January 2023

New job in the lab of Jan Theeuwes at VU Amsterdam:

Looking forward to a great collaboration with Jan and Dirk van Moorselaar at the VU Amsterdam, where we will (probably) investigate the neural mechanisms underlying spatial priority maps acquired by visual statistical learning.

25 October 2022

New paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience (lead author Ambra Ferrari):
Updating contextual sensory expectations for adaptive behaviour.

In this paper we (Ambra Ferrari, Floris de Lange and I) show how an executive control network in insular and frontoparietal cortex may update sensory predictions for adaptive behavior in a dynamic environments. Moreover, we show that sensory prediction effects in visual cortex follow contextual updates in this executive network.

See Ambra's Twitter for a summary.

04 September 2022

New preprint published on bioRxiv:
Conceptual associations generate sensory predictions.
In this study we (Chuyao Yan, Floris de Lange and I) ask whether conceptual (semantic) associations result in sensory predictions. Interestingly, we find that conceptual associations modulate sensory processing throughout the ventral visual stream!

Click here for a summary.

16 August 2022

New paper published in Oxford Open Neuroscience:
Dampened sensory representations for expected input across the ventral visual stream.

In this paper we (Micha Heilbron, Floris de Lange and I) show that perceptual predictions result in a feature-specific suppression of the gain of neural responses (dampening) across the ventral visual stream.

Click here for a summary.

10 June 2022

New preprint published on bioRxiv by Ambra Ferrari: 
Updating contextual sensory expectations for adaptive behaviour.

05 January 2022

New paper published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience by Tao He: 
Spatial and Temporal Context Jointly Modulate the Sensory Response within the Ventral Visual Stream.

22 March 2021

I was interviewed by Mon Klein Douwel from de Volkskrant about my work.
You can find the interview about my research here (in Dutch).

​11 March 2021

Today I successfully defended my PhD thesis:
Prediction throughout visual cortex: How statistical regularities shape sensory processing!
Thank you Floris for supporting me throughout the years! Also, thank you to all the members of the examining committee (Clare Press, Heleen Slagter, Maria Chait, Rob van Lier, Nick Turk-Browne, Ram Frost) for making this all possible and for presenting in tomorrow's online symposium on Statistical learning: How does the brain learn and predict the sensory world?

Click here for a summary of my thesis.

​16 January 2020

New paper published in Nature Communication (lead author Micha Heilbron):
Word contexts enhance the neural representation of individual letters in early visual cortex.
In this paper we (Micha Heilbron, Matthias Ekman, Peter Hagoort, Floris de Lange and I) show that context effects in letter perception can be, at least to some extent, top-down in nature, allowing readers to better identify letters in words because they might, quite literally, see them better.

See Micha's blog post for a summary.

​23 August 2019

New paper published in eLife
Statistical learning attenuates visual activity only for attended stimuli.

In this paper we (Floris de Lange and I) show that attention may gate the sensory effects of statistical learning, suggesting that predictive processes in the visual system are not necessarily automatic, but may depend on attending the predictable stimuli.

Click here for a summary.

​22 August 2018

New paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience
Suppressed Sensory Response to Predictable Object Stimuli throughout the Ventral Visual Stream.

In this paper we (Matthias Ekman, Floris de Lange and I) show that perceptual expectations have a widespread effect on neural processing. In particular, valid expectations result in a suppression of neural responses. In addition, neural representations are dampened, hinting that expectations can serve to filter out predictable, task-irrelevant stimuli.

Click here for a summary.

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