Laurence R. Harris

l-harrisPhD (Cambridge)
Professor, Project Leader, Human Performance Laboratory
Research areas: Neurophysiology and Perception of Visual, Vestibular and Oculomotor

Research Focus

I am interested in the general question of how we see during movement. As well as being an interesting an important question in its own right, this question represents an approachable and answerable version of the broader but unanswerable question "how does the brain work". The principles clarified by solving the question of how the brain sees during movement are the principles of brain processing in general. It is important to understand how the brain processes information as we move around since we are almost always moving around.

My laboratory investigates how we represent our position, orientation and motion through the world and the location and timing of events in the world. The emphasis is on how information coming from multiple senses is combined to achieve this. My students and I measure eye, head and limb position and perception while stimulating the vestibular, visual, tactile and auditory senses in various ways and in various combinations. We use various real and simulated sensory environments, including electrical stimulation, virtual reality, underwater submersion, loudspeakers, lights, headphones, prodders, vibrators, screens and photographs to gain independent control of the various senses.

Representative publications:

D’Amour S, Harris LR (2014) “Contralateral tactile masking between the forearms” Experimental Brain Research 232: 821-826.

D’Amour S, Harris LR (2014) “Vibrotactile masking through the body” Experimental Brain Research 232: 2859-2863.

Moro SS, Harris LR, Steeves JKE (2014) “Optimal audiovisual integration in people with one eye” Multisensory Research 27:173-188.

Harris LR, Mander C (2014) "Perceived distance depends on the orientation of both the body and the visual environment" Journal of Vision 14:17 doi:10.1167/14.12.17.

Harris LR, Herpers R, Hofhamer T, Jenkin M (2014) "How much gravity is needed to establish the perceptual upright?" PLoS One 9 (9): e106207.

D’Amour S, Pritchett LM, Harris LR (in press) “Bodily illusions disrupt tactile sensations” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.