Education

Institution                                                                  Degree        Completion Date     Field of Study

University College London, Dept. Anatomy               B.Sc.              05/1993          Neuroscience
University College London, Professor Zeki                Ph.D.              05/1997         Visual Neuroscience
Nihon University, Tokyo, Professor Sakata                Postdoctoral    02/1998        Visual Neuroscience
University of California San Francisco, Dr. Horton    Postdoctoral    06/2001         Visual Neuroscience

Academic career and teaching activities

First semester: Scientific Communication

Second semester: Neuroscience, Current Debates in Cognitive Science

Research interests

    I completed my PhD entitled “Functional Specialization of the Monkey Visual Cortex for Stereoscopic Depth” in the laboratory of Professor Semir Zeki at UCL, recording from, and making anatomical tracer injections in early visual cortex of macaques. The centerpiece of my PhD was the discovery of a columnar organization of disparity-tuned cells (1). My expertise in the neurophysiology of binocular vision and stereopsis led me to a postdoctoral Royal Society fellowship in the laboratory of Professor Hideo Sakata in Tokyo, where I studied cells tuned for 3D axis orientation in parietal cortex of awake behaving macaques.

    Equipped with a background in monkey visual neurophysiology, I joined Dr. Horton’s laboratory to establish a neurophysiology recording system in awake monkeys. My roles in this enterprise have ranged from collaborating with architects on the floor plan of a new laboratory, developing and building the awake-monkey physiology experimental rigs, refining surgical and implantation techniques in monkeys, and designing experimental equipment and protocols. Throughout the course of this work, I have relished the opportunity to engage my flair for practical problem solving. By constantly reexamining and refining technical and methodological approaches, I am proud to have helped construct in a relatively short period, a laboratory capable of producing first-rate data in the fields of monkey neurophysiology and behavior, and human psychophysics and eye tracking. Over the last 10 years we have reaped the fruits of this labor through a series of important discoveries about the neural basis of strabismus. 

    The progress we have already made in understanding the long neglected, yet clinically prominent disease of strabismus is but the tip of the iceberg (3). By providing a complete and unifying description of the sensory and motoric adaptations that arise in strabismus, along with their neural correlates, we will form the foundation of understanding that will be necessary to develop new practical approaches to treatment and even prevention of the disease. 

Research work

1.    My early work focused on the search for extrastriate cortical areas functionally specialized for binocular vision and stereopsis. This involved characterizing cells according to their disparity tuning profiles and studying their cortical columnar organization. My discovery of disparity columns in the third visual complex of the macaque has since been corroborated in human fMRI studies that demonstrate this area as a hub for stereoscopic depth processing.

a.    Functional organization of macaque V3 for stereoscopic depth. Adams DL, Zeki S. The Journal of Neurophysiology. 2001; 86(5):2195-203.

2. In collaboration with Professor Hideo Sakata in Tokyo, I recorded from a class of cells in the intraparietal sulcus of awake behaving macaques that use disparity cues to signal axis orientation in 3D. These cells are thought to be instrumental in guiding hand orientation during grasping movements.

a.    Effects of different types of disparity cues on the response of axis-orientation selective cells in the monkey parietal cortex. Endo K, Haranaka Y, Shein WN, Adams DL, Kusunoki M, Sakata H. Nippon Ganka Gakkai zasshi. 2000; 104(5):334-43.

3. Upon joining the laboratory of Dr. Horton, I began researching ocular dominance column organization in normal and strabismic squirrel monkeys. In the course of this anatomical and physiological project, I discovered a representation of retinal vasculature shadows imprinted onto the primary visual cortex. The repercussions of this discovery drove a number of studies on cortical development and visuotopy. Furthermore, the finding that cortical column expression in squirrel monkey visual cortex is whimsical, inspired an influential paper proposing the heretical idea that the cortical column has no function.

a.    Shadows cast by retinal blood vessels mapped in primary visual cortex. Adams DL, Horton JC. Science. 2002; 298(5593):572-6.
b.    A precise retinotopic map of primate striate cortex generated from the representation of angioscotomas. Adams DL, Horton JC. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2003; 23(9):3771-89.
c.    Capricious expression of cortical columns in the primate brain. Adams DL, Horton JC. Nature Neuroscience. 2003; 6(2):113-4.
d.    The cortical column: a structure without a function. Horton JC, Adams DL. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. 2005; 360(1456):837-62.

4. My first anatomical studies of strabismus in macaque monkeys showed a spatial correspondence between perceptual suppression and metabolic activity in primary visual cortex. These studies were instrumental in developing a new understanding of the patterns of visual suppression in human exotropes. They inspired a series of psychophysical experiments in human patients that demonstrated that, counter to conventional thinking, neither fovea is suppressed in exotropia. This work has redefined the way that we think about strabismic suppression and the related phenomenon of anomalous retinal correspondence. 

a.    Metabolic mapping of suppression scotomas in striate cortex of macaques with experimental strabismus. Horton JC, Hocking DR, Adams DL. The Journal of Neuroscience. 1999; 19(16):7111-29.
b.    Cortical metabolic activity matches the pattern of visual suppression in strabismus. Adams DL, Economides JR, Sincich LC, Horton JC. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2013; 33(9):3752-9.
c.    Perception via the deviated eye in strabismus. Economides JR, Adams DL, Horton JC. The Journal of Neuroscience. 2012; 32(30):10286-95.

Memberships in societies and scientific committees

Positions and Employment
1997    Honorary member: Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology, London, UK.
1998    Postgraduate Research Scholar: Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
2001    Postgraduate Researcher: University of California San Francisco, United States.
2003    Assistant Adjunct Professor: University of California San Francisco, United States.
2008    Associate Professor: University of Trento, Italy.
2012    Honorary contract: Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK.

Other Experience and Professional Memberships
1998    Member: Society for Neuroscience.
2000    Member: American Physiological Society.
2006    Ad hoc reviewer: Wellcome Trust grant peer review committee: Neuroscience & Mental Health.
2009    Ad hoc reviewer: European Research Council.
2012    Member: NC3Rs chronic implants working group.
2015    Ad hoc reviewer: NC3Rs Project Grant peer review panel.
2016    Ad hoc reviewer: NC3Rs Strategic Awards panel.

Awards and honours

1993    Three-year graduate research award from BBSRC, UK.
1998    International Exchange Scholarship from The Royal Society, UK.
2008    Marie Curie European Reintegration Award from the European Union.
2011    Pilot study award for junior investigators in basic and clinical/translational sciences from UCSF.
2012    Certification: Italian Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale, Seconda fascia.
2013    International prize for excellence in 3Rs research from the NC3Rs.
2016    Certification: Italian Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale, Prima fascia