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Alexander Maier

Associate Professor of Psychology
Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Alex Maier's primary research interest is on the relationship between brain activity and conscious visual perception. Maier obtained his Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute of Cybernetics in Germany. He worked as a Research Fellow at the U.S. National Institutes of Health before joining Vanderbilt’s Department of Psychology. Maier has received Awards from the Society for Neuroscience, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Whitehall Foundation, the Minds Science Foundation as well as the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, and has been elected as a Fellow of the Sloan Foundation as well as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lab Website

Representative Publications

Mendoza-Halliday, D., Major, A.J., Lee, N., Lichtenfeld, M., Carlson, B., Mitchell, B., Meng, P.D., Xiong, Y., Westerberg, J., Maier, A. and Desimone, R. (2024) A ubiquitous spectrolaminar motif of local field potential power across the primate cortex. Nature Neuroscience 1-14.

Westerberg, J.A., Schall, J.D., Woodman, G.F. & Maier, A. (2023) Feedforward attentional selection in sensory cortex. Nat. Commun. 14 (1), 5993

Carlson, B.M., Mitchell, B.A., Dougherty, K., Westerberg, J.A., Cox, M.A. & Maier, A. (2023) Does V1 response suppression initiate binocular rivalry? iScience 26 (8)

Daumail, L., Carlson, B.M., Mitchell, B.A., Cox, M.A., Westerberg, J.A., Johnson, C., Martin, P.R., Tong, F., Maier, A. & Dougherty, K. (2023) Rapid adaptation of primate LGN neurons to drifting grating stimulation. J Neurophysiol. 129(6):1447-1467.

Westerberg, J.A., Schall, M.S., Maier, A., Woodman, G.F, Schall, J.D. & Riera, J.J. (2022)  Resolving the mesoscopic missing link: Biophysical modeling of EEG from cortical columns in primates NeuroImage 263:119593.

Maier, A., Cox, M.A., Westerberg, J.A. & Dougherty, K. (2022) Binocular integration in primate primary visual cortex. Ann. Rev.Vis. Sci. 8:345-360.

Mitchell, B.A., Dougherty, K., Westerberg, J.A., Carlson, B.M., Daumail, L., Maier, A. & Cox, M.A. (2022) Stimulating both eyes with matching stimuli enhances V1 responses. iScience. 25(5):104182.

Westerberg, J.A., Schall, M.S., Maier, A,, Woodman, G.F. & Schall, J.D. (2022) Laminar microcircuitry of visual cortex producing attention-associated electric fields. eLife 28;11:e72139.

Westerberg, J.A., Sigworth, E.A., Schall, J.D. & Maier, A. (2021) Pop-out search instigates beta-gated feature selectivity enhancement across V4 layer. PNAS 118(50):e2103702118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2103702118.

Dougherty, K., Carlson, B.M., Cox, M.A., Westerberg, J.A., Zinke, W., Schmid, M.C., Martin, P.R. & Maier, A. (2021) Binocular suppression in the macaque lateral geniculate nucleus reveals early competitive interactions between the eyes. eNeuro 8 (2)

Kienitz, R., Maier, A., Cox, M.A., Saunders, R.C., Schmiedt, J.T., Leopold, D.A., Schmid, M.C. (2021) Theta but not gamma oscillations in area V4 depend on input from primary visual cortex. Curr. Biol. 31 (3), 635-642. e3

Tsuchiya, N. & Maier, A. (2021) Growing Evidence for Separate Neural Mechanisms for Attention and Consciousness. Att. Percept. Psychophys. 83 (2), 558-576



2018: Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching (Vanderbilt College of Arts and Sciences)

2015: Kavli Fellow (National Academy of Sciences)

2015: Outstanding Teacher of the Year (Vanderbilt Brain Institute)

2014: Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award (Society for Neuroscience)

2013: Sloan Research Fellow (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)

2009: Fellows Award of Research Excellence (National Institutes of Health)

2006: Julius Axelrod Fellowship (National Institute of Mental Health)

2006: Klaus Tschira Award (German National Academic Foundation)