Skip to main content

Alexander Maier

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Alex Maier's primary research interest is on the relationship between brain activity and visual perception, with a focus on how we integrate the two eyes' perspectives into a single view. Maier obtained his Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute of Cybernetics in Germany. He worked as a Research Fellow at the U.S. National Institutes of Health before joining Vanderbilt’s Department of Psychology. Maier has received Awards from the Society for Neuroscience, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Whitehall Foundation, the Minds Science Foundation as well as the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and has been elected as a Fellow of the Sloan Foundation as well as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. His current research on the neurobiological basis of vision and children's eye disease is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Dougherty, K., Schmid, M. & Maier, A. (2018) Binocular modulation in the lateral geniculate nucleus. J. Comp. Neurol. [in press]

Noel, J.P., David Simon, D., Thelen, A., Maier, A., Blake, R. & Wallace, M.T. (2018) Probing Electrophysiological Indices of Perceptual Awareness Across Unisensory and Multisensory Modalities. J. Cogn. Neurosci. [in press]

Cox, M.A., Dougherty, K., Westerberg, J.A., Moore, B.S., Adams, G.K., Reavis, E.A., Leopold, D.A. & Maier, A.  (2017) Spiking suppression precedes cued attentional enhancement of neural responses in primary visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx305. [Epub ahead of print]

Shapcott, K.A., Schmiedt, J.T., Saunders, R.C., Maier, A., Leopold, D.A. & Schmid, M.C. (2016) Correlated activity of cortical neurons survives extensive removal of feedforward sensory input. Nature Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep34886.

Foster, B.L., He, B.J., Honey, C.J., Jerbi, K., Maier, A., Saalmann, Y.B., (2016) Spontaneous neural dynamics and multi-scale network organization. Front. Syst. Neurosci. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2016.00007

Dougherty, K., Cox, M.A., Ninomiya, T., Leopold, D.A. & Maier, A. (2015) Ongoing alpha activity in V1 regulates visually driven spiking responses. Cereb. Cortex doi:10.1093/cercor/bhv304

Cox, M.A. & Maier, A. (2015) Filling-in the details of spatial interpolation: New evidence for parallel processing in mid-level vision. Neuroscience of Consciousness (1):1-7

Ninomiya, T., Dougherty, K., Godlove, D.C., Schall, J.D. & Maier, A. (2015) Microcircuitry of agranular frontal cortex: contrasting laminar connectivity between occipital and frontal areas. J. Neurophysiol. 113:3242-3255

Schmid, M.C. & Maier, A. (2015) To see or not to see - thalamo-cortical networks during blindsight and perceptual suppression. Prog. Neurobiol. 126:36-48.

Shmuel A. & Maier A. (2015) Locally Measured Neuronal Correlates of Functional MRI Signals. In: Ugurbil, K., Uludag, K. & Berliner, L.J. (eds.) fMRI: From Nuclear Spins to Brain Function. Biological Magnetic Resonance, Vol. 30. Springer

Maier, A., Cox, M.A., Dougherty, K., Moore, B. & Leopold, D.A. (2014) Anisotropy of ongoing neural activity in primate visual cortex. Eye and Brain 2014:6 (Suppl 1) 113–120

Schmiedt, J., Maier, A., Fries, P., Saunders, R., Leopold, D.A. & Schmid, M. (2014) Beta oscillation dynamics in extrastriate cortex after removal of primary visual cortex. J. Neurosci. 34(35):11857–11864

Godlove, D.C., Maier, A., Woodman, G.F. & Schall, J.D. (2014) Microcircuitry of agranular frontal cortex: Testing the generality of the canonical cortical microcircuit. J. Neurosci. 34(15):5355-5369

Cox, M.A., Lowe, K.A., Blake, R. & Maier, A. (2014) Sustained perceptual invisibility of solid shapes following contour adaptation to partial outlines. Consciousness and Cognition 26:37-50

Ghose, D., Maier A., Nidiffer, A.R. & Wallace, M.T. (2014) Multisensory response modulation in the superficial layers of the superior colliculus. J. Neurosci. 34(12):4332-4344.

Schmid, M.C., Schmiedt, J.T., Peters, A.J., Saunders, R.C., Maier, A. & Leopold, D.A. (2013) Motion-sensitive responses in visual area V4 in the absence of primary visual cortex. J Neurosci33(48): 18740-18745

Maier, A(2013) Neuroscience: The cortical layering of visual processing. Curr. Biol. 23(21):R959-961

Cox, M.A., Schmid, M.C., Peters, A.J., Saunders, R.C., Leopold, D.A. & Maier A. (2013) Receptive field focus of visual area V4 neurons determines responses to illusory surfaces. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 110(42):17095-17100

Spaak, E., Bonnefond, M., Maier, A., Leopold, D.A. & Jensen, O. (2012) Layer-specific entrainment of gamma-band neural activity by the alpha rhythm in monkey visual cortex. Curr. Biol. 22(24):2313-2318

Leopold, D.A. & Maier, A. (2012) Ongoing physiological processes in the cerebral cortex. Neuroimage. 62(4):2190-200

Maier, A., Panagiotaropoulos, T., Tsuchiya, N. & Keliris, G.A. (2012) Binocular rivalry: a gateway to studying consciousness. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 6:263

Maier, A., Aura, C. & Leopold., D.A. (2011) lnfragranular origin of induced LFP responses in macaque primary visual cortex. J. Neurosci. 31(6):1971-1980

Maier, A., Adams, G.K., Aura, C. & Leopold., D.A. (2010) Distinct Superficial and deep laminar domains of activity in the visual cortex during rest and stimulation. Front. Syst. Neurosci. 4:3 1.

Scholvinck, M.L., Maier, A., Ye, F.Q., Duyn, J.H. & Leopold, D.A. (2010) Neural basis of global resting state fMRl activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(22): 10238-43.

Wang, Z., Maier, A., Logothetis, N.K., Liang, H. (2009) Extraction of bistable-percept-related features from local field potential by integration of local regression and common spatial patterns. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 56(8):2095-2103

Wang, Z., Maier, A., Logothetis, N.K., Liang, H. (2009) Relaxation based feature selection for single-trial decoding of bistable perception. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 56(1): 101 -1 10

Maier, A. & Leopold, D.A. (2009) Binocular Rivalry. In: Wilken, P., Bayne, T., Cleeremans, A. (eds.) Oxford Companion to Consciousness. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-856951-0        

Maier, A. & Leopold, D.A. (2009) Binocular Rivalry In: Binder, M.D., Hirokawa, N., Windhorst, U., Hirsch, M.C. (eds.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Springer. ISBN: 978-3-540-29678-2

Maier, A., Wilke, M., Aura, C., Zhu, C., Ye, F.Q. & Leopold, D.A. (2008) Divergence of fMRl and neural signals in V1 during perceptual suppression in the awake monkey. Nat. Neurosci 1 l(10): 1 193-1 200

Wang, Z., Maier, A., Logothetis, N.K. & Liang, H. (2008) Single-trial classification of bistable perception by integrating empirical mode decomposition, clustering and support vector machine. EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing 2008592742

Wang, Z., Maier, A., Logothetis, N.K. & Liang, H. (2008) Single-trial decoding of bistable perception based on sparse nonnnegative tensor decomposition. Journal of Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience 2008:642387

Maier A., Logothetis, N.K. & Leopold, D.A. (2007) Context-dependent perceptual modulation of single neurons in primate visual cortex. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(13):5620-5625

Wang, Z., Maier, A., Logothetis, N.K., Leopold, D.A., Liang, H., (2007) Single-trial evoked potential estimation using wavelet. Computers in Biology and Medicine. 37(4):463-473

Leopold, D.A. & Maier, A. (2006) Neuroimaging: Perception at the brain’s core. Curr. Biol. 16(3):R95-8

Wang, Z., Maier, A., Leopold, D.A., Liang, H. (2006) Relaxation based multichannel signal combination (RELAX-MUSIC) for perceptual decisions using the area under the ROC Curve. IEEE Transaction on Biomedical Engineering 5(12):2615-2618

Maier, A., Logothetis, N.K. & Leopold, D.A. (2005) Global competition dictates local suppression in pattern rivalry. Journal of Vision 5(9):668-677

Leopold, D.A., Maier, A., Wilke, M. & Logothetis, N.K. (2004) Binocular rivalry and the illusion of monocular vision. In: D. Alais & R. Blake (eds.), Binocular rivalry and perceptual ambiguity, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN: 978-0-262-01212-6

Leopold, D.A., Maier, A. & Logothetis, N.K. (2003) Measuring subjective visual perception in the nonhuman primate. J. Consc. Stud. 10(9-10): 115-130

Maier, A., Wilke, M., Logothetis, N.K. & Leopold, D.A. (2003) Perception of temporally interleaved ambiguous patterns. Curr. Biol. 13:1076-1085

Leopold, D.A., Wilke, M., Maier, A. & Logothetis, N.K. (2002) Stable perception of visually ambiguous patterns. Nat. Neurosci. 5(6): 605-609


Honors

2015: Kavli Fellow (National Academy of Sciences)

2015: Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Vanderbilt Brain Institute)

2014: Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award (Society for Neuroscience)

2013: Sloan Research Fellow (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)

2009: Fellows Award of Research Excellence (National Institutes of Health)

2006: Julius Axelrod Fellowship (National Institute of Mental Health)

2006: Klaus Tschira Award (German National Academic Foundation)