Selim Onat

My main occupation is Neuroscience.

In the past, I have been interested on how the visual system processes natural scenes. To this end, I have recorded naturalistic movies using micro-cameras carried by cats while they were actively exploring a natural environment. I used these movies to train neuronal networks in an unsupervised manner and compared learnt features to the known properties of neurons in visual cortex. I also used these videos as stimuli during physiological recordings to gain insights on the principles of natural signal processing in the visual cortex.

Recently, I started working on how humans make generalizations based on what they have previously learnt. To this end, I am using a variety of methodologies including fMRI (1), autonomous (2), as well as eye-movement recordings (3). This research emanates from the well-established field of "stimulus generalization" following mainly the "lineage" of Hovland, Hull and Roger Shepard (4), and including the more recent computational work of Josua Tenenbaum (5). Furthermore, it integrates work on anxiety disorders, as it is believed that these mechanisms are impaired in people suffering from anxiety problems.

Publications & Work in Preparation

(For a complete and updated list you might want to have a look at my google scholar page as well)

In preparation:

Neuronal Temporal Dynamics of Fear Generalization
S Onat, L Kampermann, C Büchel


The periaqueductal gray and Bayesian integration in placebo analgesia
A Grahl, S Onat, C Büchel

Suppression of Striatal Prediction Errors by the Prefrontal Cortex in Placebo Hypoalgesia
LA Schenk, C Sprenger, S Onat, L Colloca, C Büchel
The Journal of Neuroscience

An extensive dataset of eye movements during viewing of complex images
N Wilming, S Onat, JP Ossandón, A Açık, TC Kietzmann, K Kaspar, ...
Nature scientific data

Eye movements as a window to cognitive processes
P König, N Wilming, TC Kietzmann, JP Ossandón, S Onat, BV Ehinger, ...
J. Eye Mov. Res

Visual homeostatic processing in V1: When probability meets dynamics
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience

The neuronal basis of fear generalization in humans
Selim Onat, Christian Büchel
Nature Neuroscience

Primary visual cortex represents the difference between past and present
Nora Nortmann, Sascha Rekauzke, Selim Onat, Peter König, and Dirk Jancke
Cerebral Cortex

The contributions of image content and behavioral relevancy to overt attention
Selim Onat, Alper Açık, Frank Schumann, Peter König

Spatial biases in viewing behavior
José P. Ossandón, Selim Onat, Peter König
Journal of Vision

Parametric trial-by-trial prediction of pain by easily available physiological measures
Stephan Geuter, Matthias Gamer, Selim Onat, Christian Büchel

Predictions in the light of your own action repertoire as a general computational principle
König P, Wilming N, Kaspar K, Nagel SK, Onat S
Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Unmasking the contribution of low-level features to the guidance of attention
José P. Ossandón, Selim Onat, Dario Cazzoli, Thomas Nyffeler, Rene Müri and Peter König

Developmental changes in natural viewing behavior: Bottomup and top-down differences between children, young adults and older adults
Açık A, Sarwary A, Schultze-Kraft R, Onat S and König P
Frontiers in Psychology

Visual stimulus locking of EEG is modulated by temporal congruency of auditory stimuli
Schall S, Quigley C, Onat S, König P
Experimental Brain Research
[related video content]

Saliency on a natural scene background: Effects of color and luminance contrast add linearly
Engmann S, 't Hart BM, Sieren T, Onat S, König P, Einhäuser W
Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics

Integrating audiovisual information for the control of overt attention
Onat S, Libertus K, König P
Journal of Vision

Phasic activation of locus ceruleus neurons by the central nucleus of the amygdala
Bouret S, Duvel A, Onat S, Sara SJ
Journal of Neuroscience