Dept.: Associate Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics
Neuroscience Focus Group: Behavioral Neuroscience, Computational Neuroscience, Sensory Systems
Vision is the result of computations occurring in the eye and brain. We seek to understand what these computations are and how they are implemented by neurons. Color vision is a particularly attractive platform for this endeavor. The front end of color processing in the visual system is understood in fine detail, as exemplified by the excellent color rendering on modern video displays. On the other hand, how color signals are processed in the cerebral cortex is still remarkably murky. This is the frontier we are pushing. Our primary experimental techniques are electrophysiological (single neuron recording and electrical microstimulation), psychophysical (measurement of detection thresholds), and computational (modeling/analysis of spike-triggered stimulus distributions). We are also exploring genetic techniques to manipulate the electrical activity of subsets of neurons in the visual system.