Michele Rucci

Michele Rucci

  • Professor, Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science

Office Location
309 Meliora Hall
Web Address

Office Hours: By appointment

Research Overview

Fundamental open questions in neuroscience center on how the brain processes visual information to enable successful interaction with the environment and yield the rich percepts humans experience. Research in our laboratory integrates a variety of approaches, both theoretical and experimental, to investigate visual perception in humans. Our primary goals are to elucidate computational mechanisms of visual function and understand how their failures account for visual impairments. We particularly focus on the coupling between sensory processing and the observer’s motor behavior, as this link appears to be a key element to many visual computations. We are also interested in the consequences of our findings for the development of visual aids, the implementation of new systems for head/eye tracking and visual display, and the design of efficient machine vision systems.

Our research has led to multiple findings on the way humans and other species process visual information and establish spatial representations. It has resulted in a theory of visual encoding and has raised specific hypotheses on the influences of eye movements during development and their possible contributions to visual impairments. It has led to the realization that humans control their eye movements much more precisely than previously assumed. Furthermore, it has led to new systems for visual stimulation and gaze-tracking, as well as to robots directly controlled by models of neural pathways in the brain. For more detailed information, please visit the web page of the Active Perception Laboratory.

We are currently recruiting at various levels, both pre- and post-doctorate. Please write to us, if you are interested in joining the laboratory.

Research Interests

  • Vision and Action

Selected Publications

The following are representative publications from the laboratory, mostly reviews of our research. A complete list of our publications can be found here.

  • J. Intoy and M. Rucci, (2020), Finely tuned eye movements enhance visual acuity,  Nature Communications, 11(795):1-11. PDF
  • A. Casile, J.D. Victor, and M. Rucci, (2019), Contrast sensitivity reveals an oculomotor strategy for temporally encoding space, eLife, 8:e40924. PDF
  • M. Rucci, E. Ahissar, and D. Burr. Temporal coding of visual space. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(10):883-895, 2018. PDF
  • M. Boi, M. Poletti, J.D. Victor, and M. Rucci. Consequences of the oculomotor cycle for the dynamics of perception. Current Biology, 8;27(9):1268-1277, 2017. PDF
  • M. Rucci and M. Poletti. Control and function of fixational eye movements. Annual Review of Vision Science, 1:499-518, 2015. PDF
  • M. Rucci and J. D. Victor. The unsteady eye: An information processing stage, not a bug. Trends in Neurosciences, 38(4):195-206, 2015. PDF
  • H.-K. Ko, M. Poletti and M. Rucci. Microsaccades precisely relocate gaze in a high visual acuity task, Nature Neuroscience,13,1549-1553, 2010. PDF
  • M. Rucci, R. Iovin, M. Poletti, and F. Santini. Miniature Eye Movements Enhance Fine Spatial Detail. Nature, 447(7146), 851-854, 2007. PDF
  • M. Rucci, D. Bullock, and F. Santini. Integrating robotics and neuroscience: brains for robots, bodies for brains. Advanced Robotics, 21(10), 1115-1129, 2007. PDF