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Bachelor and Master Theses


The department of sensorimotor learning studies the relationship between visual perception and eye movements. Because of the varying sensitivity and resolution across the retina, humans execute up to three eye movements per second.  The fastest of these eye movements are saccades, which are used to project different objects of interest onto the fovea - the points on the human retina with the highest visual acuity.


You conduct an experiment, which is thematically embedded in one of our research projects. Meanwhile, you learn how to measure and evaluate eye movements as well as perceptual functions. During the course of your thesis, you can acquire programming-skills, but this is optional,  We will intensively supervise you throughout your thesis. You can start with your thesis at any time.

If you are interested in writing your thesis in our department, please contact Prof. Dr. Alexander Schütz.


1. How humans learn eye movements

Eye movements are frequent and exceedingly accurate. This high accuracy is actively maintained through learning processes. To date, the learning  of eye movements was mostly studied with behaviorally irrelevant stimuli. But eye movements are primarily used for visual information gathering and assist the organism during the execution of different tasks. We are interested in the following research questions:

  • How can eye movements support different perceptual tasks?
  • Can we optimize our eye movements, based on the requirements of a perceptual task?

2. Visual stability during eye movements

Humans usually detect objects with their peripheral vision, before they execute a saccade, in order to project these objects onto their fovea. Therefore, there are two different types of visual information about an object, which we obtain through an eye movement: peripheral information before we execute a saccade, and foveal information after we have executed the saccade to the respective object. Although peripheral and foveal information differ in several aspects (see the image below), fixating an object does not change how we perceive it. In this context, we are
interested in the following research questions:

  • How are the differences in peripheral and foveal vision compensated?
  • What influence do attention and memory have on the integration of peripheral and foveal information?
  • How do peripheral and foveal vision change during the human lifespan?
Peripherie Pfeil Fovea
Peripheral vision Foveal Vision

3. Individual differences in multistable perception

Because visual information is pictured two-dimensionally on our retina, we can have several different three-dimensional interpretations of a single visual stimulus at the same time. Which of the available three-dimensional interpretations dominates the visual perception of an object, can change abruptly and unpredictably. This phenomenon is called multistable perception. In the example below, you see a cylinder, whose movement direction is ambiguous: sometimes you can see it moving to the left, and sometimes to the right. Earlier studies showed that not all of these possible three-dimensional interpretations are favored equally often by a single person. Instead, different people seem to favor different interpretations. Currently it is unknown, how these perceptual preferences evolve. This leads to the following research questions:

  • On which visual features do these behavioral tendencies base?
  • How are the tendencies acquired?
  • And can they be changed temporarily, through learning processes?

Multistabile Wahrnehmung