Treue, Stefan, Prof. Dr.

Professor, Director of the German Primate Center
Head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory

  • 1992: Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1992 - 1993: Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT
  • 1993 - 1995: Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 1995 - 2001: Work Group Leader, Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Tübingen
  • 2000 - 2001: Professor of Animal Physiology, University of Tübingen
  • 2001: Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Biological Psychology

Major Research Interests

Research at the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory is aimed at understanding the neural basis of visual perception. Vision is an active process that is far more than a passive registration of our environment. Rather, on its way from the eyes to and through the cortex, visual information is modulated by numerous processes that enhance some aspects while diminishing others. One of these processes is attention, i.e. the ability to filter out unwanted information and concentrate the brain´s processing abilities on relevant information.

The accurate representation of visual motion in the environment is one of the most important tasks of the visual system. Correspondingly, research in the laboratory concentrates on this ability as a model for sensory information processing in general.

We use various techniques. While our emphasis is on electrophysiology, i.e. the recording of the activity of neurons in the visual cortex of macaque monkeys and measuring human perceptual abilities with psychophysical methods, we also use theoretical approaches and functional brain imaging.
Using these techniques, we have been able to elucidate how motion information is represented in primate cortical area MT and how attention changes that representation and correspondingly the percept of the visual environment.

Homepage Department/Research Group:

Selected Recent Publications

  • Mehrpour V, Martinez-Trujillo JC, Treue S (2020), Attention amplifies neural representations of changes in sensory input at the expense of perceptual accuracy. Nature Communications 11:2128.
  • Yao T, Treue S, Krishna BS (2018) Saccade-synchronized rapid attention shifts in macaque visual cortical area MT. Nature Communications, 9, 958.
  • Yao T, Treue S, Krishna BS (2016) An attention-sensitive memory trace in macaque MT following saccadic eye movements. PLoS Biol 14:e1002390.
  • Niebergall R, Khayat PS, Treue S, Martinez-Trujillo J (2011) Multifocal attention filters out distracter stimuli within and beyond receptive field boundaries of primate MT neurons. Neuron 72:1067-1079
  • Anton-Erxleben K, Stephan VM, Treue S (2009) Attention reshapes center-surround receptive-field structure in macaque cortical area MT. Cerebral Cortex 19: 2466-2478
  • Busse L, Katzner S, Treue S (2008) Temporal dynamics of neuronal modulation during exogenous and endogenous shifts of visual attention in macaque area MT. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(42): 16380-16385
  • Womelsdorf T, Anton-Erxleben K, Pieper F, Treue S (2006) Dynamic shifts of visual receptive fields in cortical area MT by spatial attention. Nature Neuroscience 9 (19), 1156-1160
  • Martinez-Trujillo JC, Treue S (2004) Feature-based attention increases the selectivity of population responses in primate visual cortex. Current Biology 14, 744-751
  • Martinez-Trujillo JC, Treue S (2002) Attentional modulation strength in cortical area MT depends on stimulus contrast. Neuron 35, 365-370
  • Treue S, Hol K, Rauber HJ (2000) Seeing multiple directions of motion – Physiology and psychophysics. Nature Neuroscience 3 (3), 270-276
  • Treue S, Martinez Trujillo JC (1998) Feature-based attention influences motion processing gain in macaque visual cortex. Nature 399, 575-579
  • Treue S, Maunsell JHR (1996) Attentional modulation of visual motion processing in cortical areas MT and MST. Nature 382, 539-541