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Monday, July 3, 2017

Fast multimodal neuroimaging for tracking whole-brain dynamics

Seminar: BIC Seminar | July 3 | 1-2:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Laura Lewis, Harvard MGH

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Many aspects of cognition take place on a timescale of hundreds of milliseconds, and measuring neural activity in this frequency range is essential for neuroscience. However, current non-invasive neuroimaging methods are not able to precisely localize oscillatory neural activity above 0.2 Hz. We show that fast fMRI acquisition enables the direct detection of neural oscillations with frequencies...   More >

Thursday, July 6, 2017

7T MRI: A Game-changer for Imaging Neuroscience

Seminar: BIC Seminar | July 6 | 2-3:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Robert Turner, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Psychiatry as a branch of medicine relies on good systems neuroscience of the human brain. When fMRI was first invented in 1990-91, with its non-invasive high spatial resolution mapping of evoked brain activity, many researchers hoped that rapid progress would ensue in understanding mental illness. However, the hope-for gains have been slow to materialize. I argue that inadequate efforts have so...   More >

Friday, July 7, 2017

Imaging cortical columns and cortical layers at 7 and 9.4 Tesla: From sensory mapping to cognitive applications

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | July 7 | 1-2:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Rainer Goebel, Maastricht University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Ultra-­high magnetic field (UHF) fMRI at 7 Tesla and higher enables measurement of human brain activity with sub-­millimeter spatial resolution allowing to differentiate brain activation at the mesoscopic level of cortical layers and columnar-­like feature clusters. Recent experiments show that it is possible to map known columnar organizations in specialised brain areas (e.g. V1-­V3, A1, hMT,...   More >

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Science at Cal Lecture - Mapping how language is represented in the human brain

Lecture | July 15 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building


Dr. Alex Huth

Science@Cal


In the past decade one trend in neuroscience has been to switch away from using simple, controlled experiments, and instead to study how the brain reacts to more complex, natural situations. Alex Huth will talk about one experiment in which subjects listened to hours of natural, narrative stories from The Moth Radio Hour while undergoing fMRI scanning. In order to take advantage of this complex,...   More >


All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

State Dependent Modulation of Perception Based on a Computational Model of Conditioning

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | July 18 | 12:30-2 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Jordi Puigbò, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona - Spain)

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


The embodied mammalian brain evolved to adapt to an only partially known and knowable world. The adaptive labeling of the world is critically dependent on the neocortex which in turn is modulated by a range of subcortical systems such as the thalamus, ventral striatum, and the amygdala. A particular case in point is the learning paradigm of classical conditioning, where acquired representations...   More >

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Stabilized Supralinear Network, or, The Importance of Being Loosely Balanced (Miller) / Spatiotemporal profiles of spiking variability in recurrent networks (Doiron)

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | August 15 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Ken Miller, Columbia University; Brent Doiron, University of Pittsburgh

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Miller: I will describe the Stabilized Supralinear Network mechanism and its application to understanding sensory cortical behavior. The mechanism is based on a network of excitatory (E) and inhibitory (I) neurons with very simple assumptions: (1) Individual neurons have an expansive or supralinear input/output functions, e.g. a power law with power >1; (2) Feedback inhibition is sufficiently...   More >

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Discovering Relationships and their Structures Across Disparate Data Modalities

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | August 17 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Joshua Vogelstein, Johns Hopkins University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Determining whether certain properties are related to other properties is fundamental to scientific discovery. As data collection rates accelerate, it is becoming increasingly difficult yet ever more important to determine whether one property of data (e.g., cloud density) is related to another (e.g., grass wetness). Only if two properties are related are further investigations into the geometry...   More >

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Capacity Scaling Law for Artificial Neural Networks

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | September 6 | 12-1 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Gerald Friedland, UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


In this talk, we derive the calculation of two critical numbers that quantify the capabilities of artificial neural networks with gating functions, such as sign, sigmoid, or rectified linear units. First, we derive the calculation of the upper limit Vapnik-Chervonenkis dimension of a network with binary output layer, which is the theoretical limit for perfect fitting of the training data. Second,...   More >



fMRI at high magnetic fields: Spatial resolution limits and applications

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | September 6 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Essa Yacoub, University of Minnesota

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


While higher magnetic fields present the opportunity to address higher resolution neuroscience questions, such applications are faced with confounds of fMRI spatial specificity, as well as technical challenges in acquiring higher resolution images. Significant efforts have been put forth over the past 20 years towards understanding these issues and in addressing them with technical developments....   More >

Thursday, September 7, 2017

IB Faculty on Parade

Seminar | September 7 | 12:30-1:30 p.m. | 2040 Valley Life Sciences Building


Daniela Kaufer, University of California, Berkeley; Brent Mishler, University of California, Berkeley

Department of Integrative Biology



Dynamics of prefrontal computations during decision-making

Seminar | September 7 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Joni Wallis, University of California, Berkeley

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Monday, September 11, 2017

Oxyopia Postdoctoral Researcher Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | September 11 | 12 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Adrien Chopin; Brian Schmidt

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Adrien Chopin, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Vision Science Program

Title: Bringing completely-stereoblind amblyopes to stereo-recovery
Abstract: Stereoscopic perception is an important component of a normal binocular life. Amblyopic patients often experience a disrupted binocular vision and may benefit from stereopsis recovery. Stereovision is usually tested with clinical stereotests. First,...   More >

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thriving in Science September Seminar: "My Journey from Physics to Neurobiology as an Imposter" with Dr. Marla Feller

Seminar | September 13 | 6-7 p.m. | 105 Stanley Hall


Dr. Marla Feller, UC Berkeley

QB3 - California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences


Talk will be followed by Artichoke Basille pizza and refreshments in Stanley Hall.

Marla Feller is a Professor at UC Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology Department where she is the Head of the Neurobiology Division and a member of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Feller received an AB in Physics in 1985 and a Ph. D. in Physics in 1992, both from UC Berkeley. Dr. Feller...   More >

Friday, September 15, 2017

Bay Area Vision Research Day

Conference/Symposium | September 15 | 8 a.m.-7 p.m. |  Anna Head Alumnae Hall (2537 Haste St.)


UC Berkeley Vision Science Department


The Bay Area Vision Research Day (BAVRD) is a one-day research conference devoted to bringing the vision research community of the Bay Area together in order to present and to discuss new and exciting findings in the fields of visual psychophysics, ophthalmology, optometry, biology, neuroscience, and computer vision. What distinguishes BAVRD from other conferences is that it is primarily...   More >

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Clinical Science Psychology Students 3rd Yr Talk

Colloquium | September 19 | 3:30-5 p.m. | Tolman Hall, 3105 Beach Room


Department of Psychology


Caitlin Gasperetti
Talk: Characterizing Sleep in Evening-Type Adolescents

Niki Gumport
Talk: Patient Learning of Treatment Contents in Cognitive Therapy

Enitan Marcelle
Talk: Prenatal Predictors of Working Memory Functioning in ADHD

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The neural mechanism of aggression

Seminar | September 21 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Dayu Lin, New York University, School of Medicine

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Monday, September 25, 2017

​Two forms of perceptual learning generalization: Immediate transfer and learning to learn

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | September 25 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


C. Shawn Green, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


​While it is clear that, with appropriate practice, people will improve on most perceptual tasks, the improvements seen from such practice commonly fail generalize to new tasks. However, while this type of learning specificity is undoubtedly the most frequently described outcome of perceptual training, over the past few decades, numerous examples have been described in the literature...   More >



Remembering in the Toddler Years

Colloquium | September 25 | 12:10-1:10 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall


Simona Ghetti, UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain

Department of Psychology


The ability to subjectively re-experience our past requires processes that develop substantially during the course of childhood. Children ought to be able form, retain and retrieve detailed memory representations. In addition, they ought to be able to reflect on the quality of these memory representations (e.g., whether they are certain versus uncertain; whether the memories include vivid detail)...   More >

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Computational Approaches to Human Affective Neuroscience

Lecture | September 27 | 3 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Sonia Bishop, Professor, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology


Abstract: Computational modelling allows us to move beyond simple approaches to experimental design. Here, I will present two very different examples of integrating computational modelling into human affective neuroscience. In the first example, we sought to better characterize the mechanisms underlying intolerance of uncertainty in anxiety. Participants performed bandit style decision-making...   More >

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Nature and nurture in neurocognitive development: insights from studies of plasticity in blindness

Seminar | September 28 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Marina Bedny, John Hopkins, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH



Nature and nurture in neurocognitive development: insights from studies of plasticity in blindness

Colloquium | September 28 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Marina Bedny, Johns Hopkins University

Department of Psychology


The human cortex consists of distinct networks that support cognitive functions such as language processing, face perception, and motor control. How do intrinsic physiology and experience determine this specialization? Studies of sensory loss provide unique insights into this question. In individuals who are blind from birth so called “visual” cortices acquire responses to sound and touch....   More >



Cognitive Neuroscience/Neurobiology Colloquium

Colloquium | September 28 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Marina Bedny, Johns Hopkins University

Department of Psychology


Nature and nurture in neurocognitive development: Insights from studies of plasticity in blindness.

Monday, October 2, 2017

​Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | October 2 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Cecile Fortune, Flannery Lab; Kelly Byrne, Silver Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Kelly Byrne (Michael Silver Lab)

Title: The relationship between cholinergic enhancement and visuospatial perception

Abstract: Acetylcholine (ACh) is synthesized in the basal forebrain and diffused widely throughout the brain, exerting diverse neuromodulatory effects. Animal physiology studies indicate that in visual cortex, ACh modulates spatial integration by changing neuronal receptive...   More >

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cognitive Neuroscience/Neurobiology Colloquium: Data Slam 1

Colloquium | October 5 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Ye Xia, Whitney lab; Carson McNeil, Gallant lab; Darius Parvin, Ivry lab; Maria Eckstein, Collins lab; Kata Slama, Knight lab; Dan Lurie, D'Esposito lab

Department of Psychology


Data slam from grads in Cognitive Neuroscience/Neuroscience. Grad lounge afterwards for pingpong/foosball plus drinks and pizza.

Monday, October 9, 2017

​Biophysical Cues and Ocular Cell Behaviors: The Big Impact of Little and Squishy Things

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | October 9 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Chris Murphy, D.V.M., PhD, Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, UC Davis; Sara Thomasy, D.V.M., PhD, Associate Professor and Associate Researcher, Department of Surgical & Radiological Sciences, UC Davis

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Biophysical cues, such as substratum topography and compliance, are ubiquitous attributes of the miroenvironment of cells. They have been proven to be as potent as soluble cytoactive factors in the modulation of cell behaviors. The main focus of our labs has been the investigation of how biophysical cues modulate cell adhesion, proliferation, migration, differentiation, and response to growth...   More >

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Curiosity-driven Exploration by Self-supervised Prediction

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | October 11 | 12:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Deepak Pathak, UC Berkeley/BAIR

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


In many real-world scenarios, rewards extrinsic to the agent are extremely sparse, or absent altogether. In such cases, curiosity can serve as an intrinsic reward signal to enable the agent to explore its environment and learn skills that might be useful later in its life. We formulate curiosity as the error in an agent’s ability to predict the consequence of its own actions in a visual feature...   More >

Monday, October 16, 2017

​Crowding from three sides: Foveal interference, spatial attention, and appearance

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | October 16 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Dan Coates, PhD, University of Houston Optometry

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Crowding, the deleterious influence of clutter on identification of a target, is typically studied in the visual periphery, where it is a fundamental limit to visual perception. Most experiments entail keen spatial focus on a flanked target, which must be categorized using forced-choice response methods. I present several recent studies that extend conventional practice. First, I...   More >

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Genetic Approaches to Brain Circuit Mapping and Cell Type Characterization

Seminar | October 19 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Hongkui Zeng, Allen Institute for Brain Science

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH



Monday, October 23, 2017

​Imaging Retinal Ganglion Cells

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | October 23 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Don Miller, PhD, Indiana University School of Optometry

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: The retinal ganglion cell is the primary cell damaged by glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible visual loss worldwide. While we have a detailed understanding of the atrophy this disease inflicts on retinal ganglion cells, our ability to assess this damage in the living human eye is limited. A major obstacle is the difficulty to image—and thus count—these cells owing to their high...   More >

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Monday, October 30, 2017

​Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | October 30 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Thao Yeh; Natalie Stepien

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Title: Exploring the impact of technology and mode of presentation on reading comprehension in sighted and blind individuals

Presenter: Natalie Stepien-Bernabe (Dr. Deborah Orel-Bixler’s Lab)

Abstract: Technology is growing rapidly, facilitating the electronic distribution of information. Electronic methods of acquiring information are especially prevalent in educational settings. For...   More >

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Cognitive Neuroscience/Neurobiology Colloquium: Data Slam 2

Colloquium | November 2 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Department of Psychology


Data slam number 2 from grads in Cognitive Neuroscience/Neuroscience. Grad lounge afterwards for drinks and socializing.

Monday, November 6, 2017

​Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | November 6 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Mehmet N Agaoglu

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Title: Miniature eye movements are tuned but not optimal for fine discrimination at the fovea

Abstract: Human eyes are never stable, even during attempts of maintaining gaze on a visual target. Considering transient response characteristics of retinal ganglion cells, a certain amount of motion of the eyes is required to efficiently encode information and to prevent neural adaptation. However,...   More >

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Maximum Entropy and the Inference of Patterns in Nature

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | November 8 | 12 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


John Harte, UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Constrained maximization of information entropy yields least biased probability distributions. In statistical physics, this powerful inference method yields classical thermodynamics under the constraints implied by conservation laws. Here we apply this method to ecology, starting with logically necessary constraints formed from ratios of ecological state variables, and derive realistic abundance...   More >



Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Theory of How Columns in the Neocortex Enable Learning the Structure of the World

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | November 16 | 12 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Jeff Hawkins, Numenta

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Neocortical regions are organized into columns and layers. Connections between layers run mostly perpendicular to the surface suggesting a columnar functional organization. Some layers have long-range excitatory lateral connections suggesting interactions between columns. Similar patterns of connectivity exist in all regions but their exact role remain a mystery. Here, we propose a network model...   More >



Cell adhesion and signaling pathways governing CNS development and cancer

Seminar | November 16 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Joseph McCarty, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Decoding the computations of high-level auditory neurons

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | November 29 | 12 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Joel Kaardal, Salk Institute

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Characterizing the computations performed by high-level sensory regions of the brain remains enigmatic due to the many nonlinear signal transformations that separate the input sensory stimuli from the neural responses. In order to produce interpretable models of these computations, dimensionality reduction techniques can be employed to obtain a description of the neural computation in terms of a...   More >

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Information seeking and randomization in human exploration and exploitation

Seminar | November 30 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Robert Wilson, University of Arizona, Department of Psychology

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH



Monday, December 4, 2017

Thesis Seminar

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | December 4 | 3-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Timothy Day, Flannery and Schaffer labs; Ryan Neely, Carmena lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


3pm: Timothy Day (Flannery and Schaffer labs)

Expanding the Potential of AAV Vectors for the Treatment of Intractable Inherited Retinal Degenerations


3:45p: Ryan Neely (Carmena lab)

Cortical and striatal circuits for learning adaptive behaviors, and wireless ultrasonic implants for interfacing with the nervous system

Reception to follow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Dissertation Talk: How the brain explores and consolidates activity patterns to learn Brain-Machine Interface control

Seminar | December 12 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Cory Hall, Hogan Room/521


Vivek Ravindra Athalye, Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)


The Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) is an emerging technology which directly translates neural activity into control signals for effectors such as computers, prosthetics, or even muscles. Work over the last decade has shown that high performance BMIs depend on machine learning to adapt parameters for decoding neural activity, but also on the brain learning to reliably produce desired neural...   More >



Dissertation Talk: How the brain explores and consolidates activity patterns to learn Brain-Machine Interface control

Presentation | December 12 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Cory Hall, Hogan Room / 521


Vivek Ravindra Athalye, Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)


The Brain-Machine Interface (BMI) is an emerging technology which directly translates neural activity into control signals for effectors such as computers, prosthetics, or even muscles. Work over the last decade has shown that high performance BMIs depend on machine learning to adapt parameters for decoding neural activity, but also on the brain learning to reliably produce desired...   More >

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Looking and seeing in the primary visual cortex

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | December 13 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Zhaoping Li, University College London

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


I will present a review of the role of the primary visual cortex V1 in the functions of looking and seeing in vision. Looking is attentional selection, to select a fraction of visual inputs into the attentional bottleneck for deeper processing. Seeing is to infer or decode the properties of the selected visual inputs, e.g., to recognize a face. In particular, I show that V1 creates a bottom-up...   More >

Friday, December 15, 2017

Neural circuits of dexterity

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | December 15 | 12 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Dr. Adam Hantman, Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Dexterous movements serve the major functions of the brain, perception and manipulation of the world. Considering the range of possible actions and the complexity of musculoskeletal arrangements, control of the hand is an amazing achievement of the nervous system. Dexterous behavior involves understanding objects in the world, developing appropriate plans, converting those plans into appropriate...   More >

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Biologically plausible deep learning for recurrent spiking neural networks.

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | December 19 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Shaowei Lin

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Despite widespread success in deep learning, backpropagation has been criticized for its biological implausibility. To address this issue, Hinton and Bengio have suggested that our brains are performing approximations of backpropagation, and some of their proposed models seem promising. In the same vein, we propose a different model for learning in recurrent neural networks (RNNs), known as...   More >

Monday, January 22, 2018

Integration of guided experiential skill application into attention regulation training yields generalized improvements in cognitive functioning

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | January 22 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Sahar Yousef, Silver Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Improvement of cognitive function is of great value to many aspects of society. However, identifying robust procedures for training cognitive processes in a generalizable way remains elusive. Here we present a novel attention regulation training paradigm that incorporates skill application in multiple learning environments. We hypothesized that our training procedure would enhance...   More >

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Towards artificial general intelligence: Brain-inspired CAPTCHA breaking and Atari playing

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | January 24 | 12-1 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Miguel Lázaro-Gredilla, Vicarious, Inc.

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Compositionality, generalization, and learning from a few examples are among the hallmarks of human intelligence. In this talk I will describe how Vicarious combines these ideas to create approaches to CAPTCHA breaking and Atari game playing that improve on the state of the art. Both of these tasks have indeed been tackled before, using respectively Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs)...   More >



Optically probing the neural basis of perception

Seminar | January 24 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building


Hillel Adesnik, University of California, Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Friday, January 26, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Long Term Adaptation in Vision

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | January 29 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Stephen Engel, University of Minnesota, Dept. of Psychology

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Experience with the environment dramatically influences how we act, think, and perceive; understanding the neural plasticity that supports such change is a long-standing goal in cognitive neuroscience. In the visual system, neural function alters dramatically as people adapt to changes in their visual world. Most past work, however, has altered visual input only over the short-term,...   More >



I see you: Social gaze as a window of opportunity in early brain development

Colloquium | January 29 | 12:15-1:15 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall


Ronny Geva, The Gonda Brain Research Center, Bar Ilan University, Israel

Department of Psychology


Social bonding—including the social learning that underpins the creation of early emotional ties between infants and their caretakers—are among the most fundamental developmental processes for human survival and well-being. Social attention is thought to play a crucial role in these processes, but little is known about the neurodevelopmental mechanisms—particularly regarding the involvement of...   More >



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: Where

Colloquium | January 30 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Patrick Cavanagh, Department of Psychology, Glendon College and Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College

Department of Psychology


How do we know where things are? Recent results indicate that an object’s visual location is constructed at a high level where, critically, an object’s motion is discounted to recover its current location, much like we discount the illumination when we perceive color. As a result we sometimes see a target far from its actual location. These predictions operate differently for eye movements,...   More >

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sensory Integration, Density Estimation, and Information Retention

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | January 31 | 12-1 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Joe Makin, UCSF

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


A common task facing computational scientists and, arguably, the brains of primates more generally is to construct models for data, particularly ones that invoke latent variables. Although it is often natural to identify the latent variables of such a model with the true unobserved variables in the world, the correspondence between the two can be more complicated, as when the former are...   More >



Computational psychiatry: When good decisions go bad

Seminar | January 31 | 3 p.m. |  5101 Tolman Hall


**Peter Dayan**

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Substantial efforts across the fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, statistics, operations research, economics, and control theory have provided us with a psychologically- and neurobiologically-grounded account of how humans and other animals learn to predict rewards and punishments, and choose actions to maximize the former and minimize the latter. It becomes an obvious...   More >

Friday, February 2, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

What is Stereo Good For?

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | February 5 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Suzanne McKee, PhD, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, Lab Director

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: All primates, including, of course, humans, have evolved to have forward-facing eyes; each eye sees almost the same view of the world. By giving up the view of possible predators approaching from behind, our species gained highly precise stereopsis. The median stereoacuity for college students is 12” (Coutant & Westheimer,1992); it is roughly half this value for practiced subjects...   More >

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cognitive Adaptations to Harsh Environments

Lecture | February 6 | 10-11:30 a.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Willem Frankenhuis, Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University

Department of Psychology


Growing up in a harsh environment has a major impact on cognition. People from such environments tend to score lower on a variety of cognitive tests. The predominant view in psychology is, therefore, that chronic exposure to harsh conditions impairs cognition. I have recently challenged this consensus by proposing that harsh environments do not exclusively impair cognition. Rather, people also...   More >



The 1000+ neurons challenge: emergent simplicity in (very) large populations

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | February 6 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Leenoy Mesulam, Princeton University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Recent technological progress has dramatically increased our access to the neural activity underlying memory-related tasks. These complex high-dimensional data call for theories that allow us to identify signatures of collective activity in the networks that are crucial for the emergence of cognitive functions. As an example, we study the neural activity in dorsal hippocampus as a mouse runs...   More >



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Link between Blur, Refractive Correction and Falls

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | February 12 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


David Elliot, PhD, Professor, Bradford University, UK

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Falls are common and represent a very serious health risk for older people. They are not random events as falls are linked to a range of intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors. Vision provides a significant input to postural control in addition to providing information about the size and position of hazards and obstacles in the travel pathway and allows us to safely negotiate steps and...   More >



Neural Mechanisms of the Development of Face Perception

Colloquium | February 12 | 12:10-1:10 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Kalanit Grill-Spector, Stanford University

Department of Psychology


How do brain mechanisms develop from childhood to adulthood? There is extensive debate if brain development is due to pruning of excess neurons, synapses, and connections, leading to reduction of responses to irrelevant stimuli, or if development is associated with growth of dendritic arbors, synapses, and myelination leading to increased responses and selectivity to relevant stimuli. Our...   More >



Neural Mechanisms of the Development of Face Perception

Colloquium | February 12 | 12:15-1:30 p.m. | Tolman Hall, Beach Room (3105)


Kalanit Grill-Spector, Stanford University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


How do brain mechanisms develop from childhood to adulthood? There is extensive debate if brain development is due to pruning of excess neurons, synapses, and connections, leading to reduction of responses to irrelevant stimuli, or if development is associated with growth of dendritic arbors, synapses, and myelination leading to increased responses and selectivity to relevant stimuli. Our...   More >

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

Representing Linguistic Knowledge With Probabilistic Models

Colloquium | February 16 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Stephan Meylan, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology


Ph.D. Exit Talk

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: 3rd year talks

Colloquium | February 20 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Paul Krueger, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley; Maria Eckstein, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Monday, February 26, 2018

Scalable Imaging of Molecular Order

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | February 26 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Shalin Mehta, PhD, Platform Leader, Advanced Optical Microscopy, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Nanoscale alignment of molecules, or molecular order, underpins the directed functions of cells. Cells have the fascinating capacity of creating and sustaining molecular order at the expense of chemical energy, as illustrated by the planar organization of the lipid membrane and the three-dimensional organization of chromatin, cytoskeleton, and extracellular matrix. The molecular order...   More >



Measuring activity of cortical layers in human brain with CBV-fMRI: method and first applications

Seminar: BIC Seminar | February 26 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Laurentius Huber, Postdoc Fellow at Section on Functional Imaging Methods, NIMH, NIH

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Layer-dependent fMRI allows measurements of information flow in cortical circuits, as afferent and efferent connections terminate in different cortical layers.
However, conventional high-resolution fMRI is challenged by its reactively high noise level and limited localization specificity of large draining veins.
In this presentation, I will discuss some recent methodological advancements of...   More >

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: 3rd year talks

Colloquium | February 27 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Nick Angelides, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley; Vinitha Rangarajan, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Monday, March 5, 2018

​Graduate Students Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 5 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Vasha Dutell, Bruno Olshausen Lab; Emilia Zin, John Flannery Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Vasha Dutell’s Talk Title: Natural Visual Signals and Heterogeneous Networks Optimized to Process Them

Abstract: One of the many mysteries of the retina is its great diversity of neuron types and subtypes. An example of this is the many retinal ganglion cells subtypes that independently tile visual space, creating multiple pathways that transmit different aspects of visual information to the...   More >



Circuitry and Mathematical Codes for Navigation in the Brain

Lecture | March 5 | 4-5 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium


Ila Fiete, University of Texas at Austin

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


I will review key aspects of the problem of navigation and describe the brain's circuits that participate in navigation. These circuits contain cells with remarkable responses to spatial variables, and include head-direction cells, grid cells, and place cells. I'll illustrate the head-direction circuit and code across species from insects to mammals. I'll focus on the bizzare, non-local, periodic...   More >

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: 3rd year talks

Colloquium | March 6 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Joe Winer, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley; Christina Merrick, Graduate Student, Psychology Department, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Peripheral Representations for computational models of Human and Machine Perception

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | March 8 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Arturo Deva, UC Santa Barbara

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Are there any benefits in incorporating the foveated nature of human vision into image-based metrics of perception and computer vision systems? In this talk I hope to advance our understanding of this question through my work via psychophysical experiments (eye-tracking), computational modelling, and computer vision.

The first part of the talk will revolve around peripheral representations...   More >

Friday, March 9, 2018

Dopamine Diversity: Tasks, Projections and Channels

Seminar | March 9 | 3-4 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Dr. Jochen Roeper, Director, Institute of Neurophysiology, Goethe University Frankfurt

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


Abstract:
Dopamine (DA) midbrain neurons that in reside in the two neighboring nuclei substantia nigra (SN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) have segregated according to their axonal projections into several mostly parallel systems with different functions in the control of action, reward-based learning and cognition. In vivo electrophysiology in awake freely moving mice demonstrates...   More >



Gaze and Locomotion in Natural Terrains

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 9 | 4-5 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Mary Hayhoe, Professor, Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas Austin

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Eye movements in the natural world reflect the information needs of the momentary behavioral goals, the rewards and costs associated with those goals, and uncertainty about the state of the world. We examine how these factors trade off in the context of walking outdoors in terrains of varying difficulty, a situation where little is known about how visual and locomotor systems work...   More >

Monday, March 12, 2018

Beyond New Neurons: The Secretory Role of Adult Hippocampal Stem and Progenitor Cells

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | March 12 | 9-10:30 a.m. | 445 Li Ka Shing Center


Dr. Liz Kirby, Assistant Professor at OSU

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


In the adult mammalian hippocampus, resident neural stem and progenitor cells give rise to new, highly plastic neurons. A great deal of research has focused on the role of these new neurons in supporting hippocampal memory function and injury response. However, our recent work shows that undifferentiated neural stem and progenitor cells also have functional relevance by secreting soluble...   More >



​Graduate Students Talk

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 12 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Nevin El Nimri; Patrick Carney

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills



Comparative Neurobiology of Social Bonds - from Rodents to Primates to Humans

Colloquium | March 12 | 12:10-1:10 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall


Karen Bales, Department of Psychology, UC Davis

Department of Psychology


Social bonds are critical to human health and well-being. However, most of what we know regarding the neurobiology of strong, selective social bonds ("pair-bonds") comes from a socially monogamous rodent, the prairie vole. In my laboratory, we also study a socially monogamous primate, the titi monkey, as a model for the neurobiology of pair bond formation and maintenance. We have characterized...   More >



Core Cognitive Mechanisms in Learning and Development

Colloquium | March 12 | 3-4:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Celeste Kidd, Assistant Professor, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


The talk will discuss approaches aimed at understanding the computational mechanisms that drive learning and development in young children. Although infants are born knowing little about the world, they possess remarkable learning mechanisms that eventually create sophisticated systems of knowledge. We discuss recent empirical findings about learners’ cognitive mechanisms—including attention,...   More >

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Impact of Mental State Inferences for Legal Outcomes

Colloquium | March 16 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Carly Giffin, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology


Ph.D. Exit Talk

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Science Lecture - Unlocking the secrets of brain aging

Lecture | March 17 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building


Daniela Kaufer, Neuroscience & Integrative Biology

Science@Cal


Aging can involve a decline in neural function that impairs cognition and contributes to neurological diseases. However, the biological mechanisms that cause the transition from a young-and-healthy to aged-and-dysfunctional brain are not well understood. In this talk, Dr. Kaufer will describe recent findings from her lab which identified a novel mechanism underlying this transition. She will also...   More >


All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

Monday, March 19, 2018

Seeing where we’re going: a retinal code for self-motion

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 19 | 12-1 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Dr. David Berson, Professor of Medical Science, Chair of NeuroScience, Brown University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Self-motion triggers complementary visual and vestibular reflexes supporting image-stabilization and balance. Translation through space produces one global pattern of retinal image motion (optic flow), rotation another. We show that each subtype of direction-selective ganglion cell (DSGC) adjusts its direction preference topographically to align with specific translatory optic flow...   More >



Spike inference for genetically encoded calcium indicators with models of multistep binding kinetics

Seminar | March 19 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 177 Life Sciences Addition


Dr. David Greenberg, Center of Advanced European Studies and Research, Bonn, Germany

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract:
Multiphoton imaging of genetically encoded calcium indicators can detect action potential (AP) evoked fluorescence changes from populations of spatially resolved neurons, but the nonlinear dependence of fluorescence on AP counts and variable indicator expression across neurons make quantitative inference problematic. We developed a biophysical model of GCaMP6s in neurons based on the...   More >

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Grounds for Science-The deceptiveness of perception

Presentation | March 23 | 6:30-8 p.m. |  Scarlet City Espresso Bar


3960 Adeline, Emeryville, CA 94608

Dylan Paiton, Vision Science Graduate Group

Science@Cal


Optical illusions and visual hallucinations are highly unusual. How is it that we are able to see something that is not really there? Dylan will outline standard methods that neuroscientists use to better understand how our brains process light, and introduce a theory for conscious vision that has guided decades of computational and experimental neuroscience.


All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

All Audiences, Alumni, Faculty, Friends of the University, General Public, Staff, Students - Graduate, Students - Prospective, Students - Undergraduate, Cal Parents

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

“Stability and Flexibility in Motor Networks”

Seminar | March 28 | 12-1 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center | Note change in location


Michael Long, New York University School of Medicine

Bioengineering (BioE)


For us to interact with the outside world, our brains must plan and dictate our actions and behaviors. In many cases, we learn to reproducibly execute a well-defined series of muscle movements to perform impressive feats, such as hitting a golf ball or playing the violin. In other cases, however, we are required to adjust our behavior to account for uncertain sensory information from the world...   More >