Peter de Best


Profile Update 28.02.2019

Current activities:

As a part of my PhD project, I studied how the brain is damaged and (sometimes) compensates for damage in visual neuropathologies. I’m currently studying connectivity in posterior cortical atrophy (PCA; an early onset -complex visual- variant of Alzheimer’s disease), and spatial and temporal processing in optic neuritis (ON; a precursor of MS, including impaired vision with subsequent recovery), using computational models like the population receptive field (pRF) and connective field (CF).

Accomplishments and Future Plans:

I published one paper about this research, and I currently have one in review, and I had the opportunity to visit several conferences. My hope is that these projects will provide valuable insights in the underlying (disturbance/ recovery of) brain processes in visual pathologies, and that these insights will -on the long run- improve scientific understanding and clinical diagnoses and treatments. More practically, in the coming years, I hope to wrap up my PCA and ON research, and publish up to three more papers.

My NextGenVis Experience:

Being part of the NextGenVis allowed me to be part of a vibrant international scientific community with an amazing understanding of many computational models. Moreover, during the workshops, we not only saw Europe, but we also met with even more experts. I now even benefit from this too, as we’re collaborating with Prof. Winawer on a temporal variant of the pRF.



MSc Neuroscience and Cognition, Utrecht University, 2011-2014

BSc Pharmacy, Utrecht University, 2007-2011

Previous projects:

  • fMRI project on the inter-individual variation in the somatotopy of the motor response to action language
  • EEG project on the association between surround suppression and gamma synchrony

Current project;

stability and plasticity of cortical signal synchronization in optic neuritis

Optic neuritis is a monocular demyelinating disease of the optic nerve causing acute visual loss, and is frequently the presenting symptom of multiple sclerosis. Despite fast restoration of visual input, conduction latency following optic neuritis is substantially prolonged and this prolongation remains even years following visual recovery. This is associated with delayed visual evoked potential (VEP) latency in the affected eye.

This may suggest that delayed VEP in the fellow eyes reflects an adaptive process to synchronize binocular inputs and lead to improved depth perception. In my PhD project I will study the underlying cortical mechanisms of this temporal reorganisation, using cortical population receptive field estimations, connective fields and advance EEG testing.