Professor, Medicine (Neurology), Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Psychology
Canada Research Chair
Marianne Koerner Chair in Brain Diseases
VGH Eye Care Centre
2550 Willow Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 3N9
phone: 6048754339
Previous Appointments

Assistant, associate professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, 1996-2004


Department of Psychology, Neuroscience Graduate Program, Brain Research Center


Research Description

The Human Vision and Eye Movement Laboratory studies higher cerebral visual and ocular motor function in people. We use three main methodologic approaches: normal human psychophysics, studies in neurologic populations, and MRI studies (fMRI and DTI), supplemented by collaborations with researchers using event-related potentials and MEG. Our study areas include two main themes:

  1. object recognition: we have an extensive program investigating face recognition as the best paradigm of high-level object recognition. We direct a multi-center study of acquired prosopagnosia, recruiting patients internationally for extensive fMRI, behavioural, MEG and ERP testing. We are investigating face adaptation effects and spatial frequency preferences as well. In addition to face recognition we have programs on navigational orientation and object expertise.
  2. saccadic programming: we explore how saccades can be used to inform us about volitional control, in the performance of antisaccades. We examine how these difficult eye movements reveal the influences of distractors on trajectory, the inter-trial contexts that change one eye movement as a function of the previous response, and how goal representations interact in space and time. These behavioural results are translated into paradigms for fMRI work and studies in schizophrenia.

Additional areas of study include the attentional processing in Balint’s syndrome, scanpath generation in face and scene processing by controls, autistic subjects and patients with visual agnosia, and the neuroanatomy of motion processing in collaboration with Debbie Giaschi.

Lab Staff

Magnetic resonance image of a healthy subject from a functional imaging experiment, contrasting brain signal when viewing faces versus other objects: the red region is the 'Fusiform face area'.

Magnetic resonance image of a healthy subject from a functional imaging experiment, contrasting brain signal when viewing faces versus other objects: the red region is the ‘Fusiform face area’.

Recent Publications

(Full List)

Abegg M, Sharma N, Barton JJS. Antisaccades generate two types of saccadic inhibition. Biol Psychol 2012; 89: 191-4.

Lai M, Oruç I, Barton JJS. Facial age aftereffects show partial identity invariance and transfer from hands to faces. Cortex 2012: 48: 477-86.

Sheldon C, Abegg M, Sekunova A, Barton JJS. The word-length effect in acquired alexia, real and virtual hemianopia.  Neuropsychologia 2012; 50: 841-51.

Van der Stigchel S, Nijboer TCW, Bergsma DP, Barton JJS, Paffen CLE. Measuring palinopsia: characteristics of a persevering visual sensation from cerebral pathology. J Neurol Sci 2012; 316: 184-8.

Sharp M, Viswanathan J, Lanyon LJ, Barton JJS. Sensitivity and bias in decision-making under risk: evaluating the perception of reward, its probability and value. PLoS ONE 2012; 7: e33460: 1-9.

Pichler P, Dosani M, Oruç I, Barton JJS. The nature of upright and inverted face representations:  an adaptation-transfer study of configuration. Cortex 2012; 48: 725-36.

Ogun O, Sheldon C, Barton JJS. Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness presenting with ptosis and macular pattern dystrophy. Neurology 2012; 79: e54-6.

Rastgardani T, Lau V, Barton JJS, Abegg M. Trial history biases the spatial programming of antisaccades. Exp Brain Res 2012; 222:175-83.

Kloft L, Viswanathan J, Reuter B, Kathmann N, Barton JJS. Response selection in prosaccades, antisaccades, and other volitional saccades. Exp Brain Res 2012; 222: 345-53.

Lai M, Oruç I, Barton JJ.The role of skin texture and facial shape in representations of age and identity. Cortex 2013; 49(1): 252-65.

Lanyon LJ, Barton JJS. Visual search and line bisection in hemianopia: computational modeling of cortical compensatory mechanisms and comparison with hemineglect. PLoS ONE 2013; 8(2): e54919: 1-20.

Viswanathan J, Barton JJS. The global effect for antisaccades. Exp Brain Res 2013; 225: 247–259.

Sekunova A, Parkinson L, Black MJ, Barton JJS. Viewpoint and pose in body form adaptation. Perception 2013; 42: 176-86.

Dalrymple KA, Gray AK, Perler BL, Birmingham E, Bischof WF, Barton JJS, Kingstone A. Eying the eyes in social scenes: evidence for top-down control of stimulus selection in simultanagnosia. Cogn Neuropsychol 2013; 30: 25-40.

Manoach DS, Lee AKC, Hämäläinen MS, Dyckman KA, Friedman J, Vangel M, Goff DC, Barton JJS. Anomalous use of task context during task preparation in schizophrenia: a magnetoencephalographic study. Biol Psychiatry 2013; 73: 967-75.

Hanif HM, Perler BL, Barton JJS. The visual representations of words and style in text: an adaptation study. Brain Res 2013; 1518: 61-70.

Davies-Thompson J, Scheel M, Lanyon LJ, Barton JJS. Functional organization of visual pathways in a patient with no optic chiasm. Neuropsychologia 2013; 51: 1260-72.

Susilo T, Yovel G, Barton JJS, Duchaine B. Face processing is domain-specific: Evidence from the body inversion effect in acquired prosopagnosia. Cognition 2013;129: 88-94.

Agam Y, Carey C, Barton JJS, Dyckman KA, Lee AKC, Vangel M, Manoach DS. Network dynamics underlying the speed accuracy trade-off in inhibitory control. PLoS ONE 2013; 8(9): e73692: 1-10.

Sharp ME, Viswanathan J, McKeown MJ, Appel-Cresswell S, Stoessl AJ, Barton JJS. Decisions under risk in Parkinson’s disease: preserved evaluation of probability and magnitude. Neuropsychologia 2013; 51: 2679-89.

Jiang X, Bollich A, Cox P, Hyder E, James J, Gowani SA, Hadjikhani N, Blanz V, Manoach DS, Barton JJS, Gaillard WD, Riesenhuber M. A quantitative link between face discrimination deficits and neuronal selectivity for faces in autism. Neuroimage: Clinical 2013; 2: 320-31.

Lai J, Pancaroglu R, Oruç I, Barton JJS, Davies-Thompson J. Neuro-anatomic correlates of the feature-saliency hierarchy in face processing: An fMRI-adaptation study. Neuropsychologia 2014; 53: 274-83.

Rezlescu C, Susilo T, Barton JJS, Duchaine B. Normal social evaluations of faces in acquired prosopagnosia. Cortex 2014; 50: 200-3.

Ahlén E, Hills C, Rubino C, Hanif HM, Barton JJS. Learning to read upside-down: a study of perceptual expertise and its acquisition. Exp Brain Res 2014; 232: 1025-36.

Rezlescu C, Barton JJS, Pitcher D, Duchaine B. Normal acquisition of expertise with a novel object class in two cases of acquired prosopagnosia. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 2014; 111: 5123-8.

165. Hills C, Romano K, Davies-Thompson J, Barton JJS. An adaptation study of internal and external features in facial representations. Vision Res 2014; 100C: 18-28.

President, Canadian Neurological Society