Robert J. Puźniak


Profile Update 28.02.2019

Current activities:

With my 3-years long NextGenVis contract expired in February 2019, my PhD studies has been extended by 9 months till November 2019. Currently I am working on finishing two publications related to quantification of congenital abnormalities of optic chiasm, which was one of the main projects of my PhD studies. Both manuscripts are in preparation and are expected to be submitted in the next few months. In parallel I am analyzing already acquired data which are expected to grant better insight into impact of congenital abnormalities of optic chiasm on visual pathways and inter-hemispherical connections. Last, but not least, I am involved in the joint project between Otto-von-Guericke University and Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Leipzig, Germany), which should advance in data acquisition phase as of summer/autumn 2019.


My research on quantification of congenital abnormalities of optic chiasm resulted in two major findings. Firstly, it allowed for us to propose an optic chiasm as a biological testbed for the development of diffusion MRI methods focused on solving crossing-fibres problem. As a follow up, we are currently preparing a data publication, which will allow other researchers to use our unique data for this purpose. Secondly, we gathered evidence that sensitivity of measurements of optic chiasm performed with dMRI allows for identification of individuals with chiasmal abnormalities. This indicates that dMRI can be possibly used as a diagnostics method in cases of chiasmal abnormalities, such as an albinism.

  • Puzniak, R.J., Ahmadi, K., Kaufmann, J., Gouws, A., Morland, A.B., Pestilli, F., Hoffmann, M.B. Quantifying nerve decussation abnormalities in the optic chiasm. (in preparation)
  • Puzniak, R.J., Ahmadi, K., Herbik, A., Kaufmann, J., Gouws, A., Morland, A.B., Gottlob, I., Hoffmann, M.B., Pestilli, F. The human albino and achiasmatic brain dataset: A biological testbed for the crossing-fibers problem with ground truth. (in preparation)

Future plans:

Upon finishing of all the major project I am involved in, I intend to continue my scientific career in academia by applying for a postdoctoral fellowship.

My NextGenVis Experience:

A-ma-zing! While an opportunity to work with the leading researchers in the field of vision sciences is already a great and impactful experience for an early stage researcher, such as I am, the NextGenVis surpassed this by far by providing on top of it excellent training, relevant both for people interested in academia and industry, vast networking opportunities and very stimulating environment. However, what I personally consider to be the biggest accomplishment of NextGenVis, is the fact that it not only created excellent young scientists, but a network of those. With the collaborations between students being already started during the programme, I have believe that this aspect of NextGenVis training will truly shine in the future and will benefit both scientific community and the society.


PhD student in Neuroscience

Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany


  • MA in Physics, University of Warsaw, Poland
    • Master Thesis: Role of theta and gamma rhythms in short-term memory mechanisms
  • BA in Physics, University of Warsaw, Poland
    • Bachelor Thesis: Algorithms implementing P300 paradigm in Brain-Computer Interfaces


  • Data analyst Ministry of Health, Warsaw, Poland
  • Intern: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden
  • Intern: Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, Switzerland

Research interests

Brain connectivity, Brain plasticity, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Current project

Quantifying changes in cortical connectivity

The project aims to uncover the consequences of human visual system pathologies and abnormalities, e.g. in albinism, on visual system connectivity. The research will involve use of fMRI and DTI techniques to provide a quantitative account of changes to visual system connectivity.


Lead-gold eutectic: An alternative liquid target material candidate for high power spallation neutron sources, Medarde M, Moormann R, Frison R, Puzniak RJ, Pomjakushina E, Conder K, Platacis E, Dai Y, Kiselev D, Zanini L, Torok S, Zagyvai P, Heinitz S, Neuhausen J, Schumann D, Thomsen K, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS 411, 72 (2011).