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James Bisley, Ph.D.

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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 951763
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Research Interest:

Vision and visual perception

My interests revolve around vision and visual perception. Specifically, I have focused on 2 questions: What are the neural mechanisms underlying the allocation of visual attention and how are moving stimuli encoded and remembered in the brain. To answer these questions, I work with animals that are trained to perform simple behavioral tasks. I then use techniques such as single unit recording, reversible inactivation, microstimulation and long-term lesion studies. Recently, I have been studying the responses of neurons in posterior parietal cortex, while the animals perform under naturalistic viewing conditions. I am also running experiments that are aimed at understanding how information about visual motion is stored in short-term memory tasks. Finally, I have a continuing study aimed at understanding distractions based on a hierarchal model of the attentional allocation system.


Dr Bisley received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in Australia where he studied the peripheral somatosensory system. He did his first post-doc at the University of Rochester working with Dr Tatiana Pasternak, where he studied the neural mechanisms underlying memory for motion. In 1999, he went to Washington, DC where he worked with Dr Michael E. Goldberg at Georgetown University and the National Eye Institute, studying the neural mechanisms underlying visuo-spatial attention. Dr Bisley moved to Columbia University with Dr Goldberg in 2002 and joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor of Neurobiology in 2006.


Culjat M.O., Bisley J.W., King C.-H., Wottawa C., Fan R.E., Dutson E.P., Grundfest W.S. Tactile feedback in surgical robotics. Surgical Robotics Systems, Applications and Visions 2010; 449-468.
King C.-H., Culjat M.O., Franco M., Lewis C.E., Dutson E.P., Grundfest W.S., Bisley J.W. Tactile feedback induces reduced grasping force in robot-assisted surgery. IEEE Trans Haptics 2009; 2: 103-110.
Bisley J.W., Ipata A.E., Krishna B.S., Gee A.L., Goldberg M.E. The lateral intraparietal area: a priority map in posterior parietal cortex. Cortical Mechanisms of Vision 2009; 9-34.
Gee A.L., Ipata A.E., Gottlieb J., Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. Neural enhancement and pre-emptive perception: the genesis of attention and the attentional maintenance of the cortical salience map. Perception. 2008; 37(3): 389-400.
Gee A.L., Ipata A.E., Bisley J.W., Gottlieb J., Goldberg M.E. On the agnosticism of spikes: salience, saccades, and attention in the lateral intraparietal area of the monkey. Sensorimotor Foundations of Higher Cognition: Attention and Performance XXII 2007; 3-25.
Ipata A.E., Gee A.L., Goldberg M.E., Bisley J.W. Activity in the lateral intraparietal area predicts the goal and latency of saccades in a free viewing visual search task. J. Neurosci. 2006; 26(14): 3656-3661.
Ipata A.E., Gee A.L., Gottlieb J., Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. LIP responses to a popout stimulus are reduced if it is overtly ignored. Nat Neurosci. 2006; 9(8): 1071-1076.
Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. Neural correlates of attention and distractibility in the lateral intraparietal area. J Neurophysiol. 2006; 95(3): 1696-717.
Goldberg M.E., Bisley J.W., Powell K.D., Gottlieb J. Saccades, salience and attention: the role of the lateral intraparietal area in visual behavior. Prog Brain Res. 2006; 155: 157-175.
Bisley J.W., Zaksas D., Droll J.A., Pasternak T. Activity of neurons in cortical area MT during a memory for motion task. J Neurophysiol. 2004; 91(1): 286-300.
Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. The role of the parietal cortex in the neural processing of saccadic eye movements. Adv Neurol. 2003; 93: 141-57.
Pasternak T., Bisley J.W., Calkins D. Visual information processing in the primate brain. Biological Psychology 2003; 139-185.
Bisley J.W., Zaksas D., Pasternak T. Microstimulation of cortical area MT affects performance on a visual working memory task. J Neurophysiol. 2001; 85(1): 187-96.
Zaksas D., Bisley J.W., Pasternak T. Motion information is spatially localized in a visual working-memory task. J Neurophysiol. 2001; 86(2): 912-21.
Bisley J.W., Goodwin A.W., Wheat H.E. Slowly adapting type I afferents from the sides and end of the finger respond to stimuli on the center of the fingerpad. J Neurophysiol. 2000; 84(1): 57-64.
Bisley J.W., Pasternak T. The multiple roles of visual cortical areas MT/MST in remembering the direction of visual motion. Cereb Cortex. 2000; 10(11): 1053-65.
Goodwin A.W., Macefield V.G., Bisley J.W. Encoding of object curvature by tactile afferents from human fingers. J Neurophysiol. 1997; 78(6): 2881-8.
Arcizet F., Mirpour K., Bisley J.W. A pure salience response in posterior parietal cortex. Cerebral Cortex. 2011; 21(11): 2498-506.
Ong W.S., Bisley J.W. A lack of anticipatory remapping of retinotopic receptive fields in the middle temporal area. J Neurosci. 2011; 31(29): 10432-6.
Bisley J.W., Mirpour K., Arcizet F., Ong W.S. The role of the lateral intraparietal area in orienting attention and its implications for visual search. Euro J Neurosci. 2011; 33(11): 1982-90.
Bisley J.W. The neural basis of visual attention. J Physiol. 2011; 589(Pt 1): 49-57.
Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. Attention, intention, and priority in the parietal lobe. Ann Rev Neurosci. 2010; 33(6): 1-21.
Mirpour K., Ong W.S., Bisley J.W. Microstimulation of posterior parietal cortex biases the selection of eye movement goals during search. J Neurophysiol. 2010; 104(6): 3021-8.
Mirpour K., Arcizet F., Ong W.S., Bisley J.W. Been there, seen that: a neural mechanism for performing efficient visual search. J Neurophysiol. 2009; 102(6): 3481-91.
Ong W.S., Hooshvar N., Zhang M., Bisley J.W. Psychophysical evidence for spatiotopic processing in area MT in a short-term memory for motion task. J Neurophysiol. 2009; 102(4): 2435-40.
Ipata A.E., Gee A.L., Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. Neurons in the lateral intraparietal area create a priority map by the combination of disparate signals. Exp Brain Res. 2009; 192(3): 479-88.
King C.-H., Culjat M.O., Franco M.L., Bisley J.W., Dutson E., Grundfest W.S. Optimization of a pneumatic balloon tactile display for robot-assisted surgery based on human perception. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008; 55(11): 2593-600.
Fan R.E., Culjat M.O., King C.-H., Franco M.L., Boryk R., Bisley J.W., Dutson E., Grundfest W.S. A haptic feedback system for lower-limb prostheses. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2008; 16(3): 270-7.
Ganguli S., Bisley J.W., Roitman J.D., Shadlen M.N., Goldberg M.E., Miller K.D. One-dimensional dynamics of attention and decision making in LIP. Neuron. 2008; 58(1): 15-25.
Bisley J.W., Krishna B.S., Goldberg M.E. A rapid and precise on-response in posterior parietal cortex. J Neurosci. 2004; 24(8): 1833-8.
Bisley J.W., Goldberg M.E. Neuronal activity in the lateral intraparietal area and spatial attention. Science. 2003; 299(5603): 81-6.
Bisley J.W., Rees S.M., McKinley M.J., Hards D.K., Oldfield B.J. Identification of osmoresponsive neurons in the forebrain of the rat: a Fos study at the ultrastructural level. Brain Res. 1996; 720(1-2): 25-34.