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Monday, March 20, 2017

Visual Perception and Circuit-Level Insights into Autism

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | March 20 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Caroline Roberston, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Atypical visual perception is a defining characteristic of autism, noted since the earliest reports of the condition. We know very little about where visual differences arise in the autistic brain or how they relate to the wider litany of symptoms associated with the condition. In this talk, I will first present extensive fMRI and psychophysical evidence that autistic visual differences originate...   More >

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The neuroscience of cognitive development and mathematics skill acquisition

Lecture | March 21 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Torkel Klingberg

Department of Psychology

Professor Torkel Klingberg from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden will be giving a lecture in the Cognitive Neuroscience colloquium series in Psychology.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Future of the Multi-core Platform Task-Superscalar Extensions to Von-Neumann Architecture and Optimization for Neural Networks

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | March 22 | 12-1 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Michael Frank, Magicore Systems

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

560 Evans
Technology scaling had been carrying computer science thru the second half of the 20th century until single CPU performance started leveling off, after which multi- and many-core processors, including GPUs, emerged as the substrate for high performance computing. Mobile market implementations followed this trend and today you might be carrying a phone with more than 16 different...   More >

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Neuroscience Student Seminar Series

Seminar | March 23 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center | Canceled

CANCELED - Kia Nobre, University of Oxford

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Friday, March 24, 2017

Formats for thinking

Seminar: ICBS Seminar | March 24 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Elisabeth Camp, Rutgers University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Many philosophers, logicians and psychologists assume an exhaustive and exclusive dichotomy between "imagistic", iconic, or pictorial representations and "discursive", logical, or propositional ones. Others dismiss the distinction as meaningless, on the ground that any content can be captured in propositional terms. Adherents of both positions often conclude that thought -- at least, cognition of...   More >

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Let's Have an Awesome Time Doing Science!

Conference/Symposium | March 29 | 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | 106 Stanley Hall

Steve Whitelam (LBL): a material scientist passionate about science writing; Eugene Cordero (San Jose State University): a climate scientist passionate about educational outreach; Michael Mayhew (LLNL): a computational biologist who tries to teach computers to diagnose people's diseases; Ryan Dalton (UC Berkeley): a Miller Fellow studying the molecular basis of sensory perception; Traci Grzymala (UC Berkeley): trained as an insect biologist and now brings science and scientists to elementary schoolers; Marla Feller (UC Berkeley): a physicist-turned-neuroscientist seeking to understand the circuitry of vision; Lior Pachter (CalTech): a computational biologist who is dedicated to promoting scientific integrity

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Register online.

Reprogramming the Brain to Health Symposium: Brain Training to Promote Brain Health

Conference/Symposium | March 29 | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. | 100 Genetics & Plant Biology Building

Mark D'Espostio, UC Berkeley; Dan Krawcyzk, UT Dallas; Tony Chen, UCSF; Ian Robertson, UT Dallas; Michael Merzenich, UCSF; Adam Gazzaley, UCSF; Sandra Chapman, UT Dallas

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

This symposium will bring together the most distinguished brain scientists to share and learn up-to-date breakthroughs in brain research.

RSVP by March 28 by emailing

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Berkeley Grad Slam Championship

Special Event: Neuroscience Seminar | April 5 | 3-5:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall

Tim Day, Flannery / Schaffer Lab

Graduate Division

See eight graduate student semi-finalists compete to be the Berkeley Champion!
Everyone is invited to cheer on graduate students as they present their three-minute research talks! While a panel of distinguished judges ascertains the top two winners, audience members will have the opportunity to vote a “people’s choice” winner.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
3 – 5:30 pm
309 Sproul Hall
FREE and...   More >

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Neuroscience Student Seminar Series

Seminar | April 6 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

CANCELED - Danielle Bassett, University of Pennsylvania

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

Friday, April 7, 2017

Counterfactual thinking and comparative similarity

Seminar: ICBS Seminar | April 7 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Felipe de Brigard, Duke University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Counterfactual thinking involves imagining hypothetical alternatives to reality. Philosopher David Lewis argued that people estimate the subjective plausibility that a counterfactual event could have occurred by comparing an imagined possible world in which the counterfactual statement is true against the current, actual world in which the counterfactual statement is false. Accordingly,...   More >

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquia

Colloquium | April 11 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Vincent P. Clark, University of New Mexico

Department of Psychology

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Nonlinear ICA using temporal structure: a principled framework for unsupervised deep learning

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

Aapo Hyvarinen, University College London

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Unsupervised learning, in particular learning general nonlinear representations, is one of the deepest problems in machine learning. Estimating latent quantities in a generative model provides a principled framework, and has been successfully used in the linear case, e.g. with independent component analysis (ICA) and sparse coding. However, extending ICA to the nonlinear case has proven to be...   More >

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cognition Colloquium: Emily Liquin "The Effects of Explanation Generation on Explore-Exploit Decision Making and Learning"& Sophia Sanborn "TBA"

Colloquium | April 14 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Tolman Hall, Room 5101

Emily Liquin, UC Berkeley; Sophia Sanborn, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Grad student Emily Liquin will present her research, "The Effects of Explanation Generation on Explore-Exploit Decision Making and Learning," and grad student Sophia Sanborn will present some of her original research, topic TBA.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Fast Perception of Binocular Disparity

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | April 17 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

Benjamin Backus, State University of New York

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

How quickly can binocular disparities be converted into perceived depth? Classic experiments by Barbara Gillam and colleagues showed cases in which stereopsis took many seconds, but in retrospect their task and stimulus design were problematic. Rapidly changing disparities are perceptually difficult to track, which also suggests that stereopsis is generally slow, but waiting for integration might...   More >

Hidden Hearing Loss: Synaptopathy in noise-induced and age related cochlear damage: Berkeley Ear Club

Colloquium | April 17 | 4 p.m. | Tolman Hall, Beach Room 3105

Charles Liberman, Mass Eye & Ear Eaton Peabody Lab Boston

Department of Psychology

The classic view of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) is that the “primary” targets are hair cells, and that cochlear-nerve loss is “secondary” to hair cell degeneration. Our recent work in mouse and guinea pig has challenged that view. In noise-induced hearing loss, exposures causing only reversible threshold shifts (and no hair cell loss) nevertheless cause permanent loss of >50% of...   More >

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The future of fMRI in cognitive neuroscience

Lecture | April 18 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Professor Russell Poldrack, Stanford University

Department of Psychology

Professor Russ Poldrack from the Department of Psychology at Stanford University will speak in the Cognitive Neuroscience colloquium series.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Objectivity and Trained Judgment: Toward an ethnography of experimental psychology

Seminar: ICBS Seminar | April 21 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Emily Martin, New York University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Historians of psychology have described how the "introspection" of early Wundtian psychology largely came to be ruled out of experimental psychology settings by the mid-20th century. In this talk I will take a fresh look at the years before this process was complete -- from the vantage point of early ethnographic and psychological field expeditions and from observing several current psychology...   More >

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bridging the gap between the spatial and mnemonic views of the hippocampus

Seminar | April 27 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Elizabeth Buffalo, University of Washington

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cognition Colloquium: Tracking early vocabulary development with smartphones

Colloquium | April 28 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Stephan Meylan, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Our own Stephan Meylan will present his work on, "Tracking early vocabulary development with smartphones."

Monday, May 1, 2017

Graduate Student Seminar

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

Rachel Albert, PhD Candidate (O’Brein Lab); Paul Cullen (Flanagan Lab)

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Rachel Albert's talk title is:

Latency Requirements for Foveated Rendering


Paul Cullen's talk title is:

Under Pressure: Understanding Glaucoma through the Lens of Astrocyte Reactivity

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Love Affair with the Brain: May Movie at Moffitt

Film - Documentary | May 3 | 7-9 p.m. | 405 Moffitt Undergraduate Library


Spend Wednesday evening of RRR week learning more about your brain, and how it can thrive! This delightful documentary follows renowned brain scientist and UC Berkeley professor emerita of anatomy, Dr. Marian Diamond, introducing us to her groundbreaking accomplishments at a time when so few women entered her field, as well as her entertaining teaching style and charming personality.

Students - Graduate, Students - Undergraduate

Students - Graduate, Students - Undergraduate

Must have a UCB student ID for entrance.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cognition Colloquium: David Bourgin, "Putting the “me” back in recommendation: A comparative study of recommendation models from computer science and cognitive psychology"

Colloquium | May 5 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Tolman Hall, Room 5101

David Bourgin, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology

Grad student David Bourgin will present some of his original research, "Putting the “me” back in recommendation: A comparative study of recommendation models from computer science and cognitive psychology."

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Selective Attention in the Service of Reinforcement Learning: 2017 Ghiselli Lecture

Lecture | May 10 | 3 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Professor Yael Niv, Princeton University

Department of Psychology

On the face of it, most real-world world tasks are hopelessly complex from the point of view of reinforcement learning mechanisms. In particular, due to the "curse of dimensionality", even the simple task of crossing the street should, in principle, take thousands of trials to learn to master. But we are better than that.. How does our brain do it? In this talk I will argue that the limited...   More >

Monday, May 15, 2017

Behavioural Signatures of Ganglion Cell Dysfunction in Glaucoma

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | May 15 | 12-1:30 p.m. |  100 Minor Addition

​Andrew John Anderson, University of Melbourne

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

​It is well established that retinal ganglion cells die in glaucoma. What is less clear is whether glaucoma induces a protracted period of dysfunction prior to cell death. This talk will review the strengths and limitations of some of the behavioural evidence that has been used to argue for the presence of dysfunctional retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma. Establishing that such dysfunction...   More >

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Neuroscience Thesis Symposium

Conference/Symposium: Thesis Seminar | May 17 | 12-6 p.m. | 245 Li Ka Shing Center

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

12pm: Joe Driscoll, Fields lab
“Circuit Specific Modulation by Corticotrophin Releasing Factor in Ventral Tegmental Neurons”

12:45pm: Chris Holdgraf, Knight lab
"Predictive models for studying auditory perception in human electrophysiology"

1:30pm: Shawn Marks, Jagust lab
“The influence of age and Alzheimer’s pathology on hippocampal function”

2:15pm: Anna Vlasits, Feller...   More >

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Neuroscience Thesis Symposium

Conference/Symposium: Thesis Seminar | May 18 | 3:30-5:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

3:30pm – Brian Isett, Feldman lab
"Simultaneous coding of texture and local shape in mouse somatosensory cortex"

4:15pm – Yvonne Fonken, Knight lab
“How what we know shapes future perception and action: investigating the mechanisms of prediction in the brain.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oxyopia Graduate Student Seminar

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

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Nevin Wadie El-Nimri OD, MS, FAAO PhD Candidate

Title: Effect of Topical Latanoprost on Myopia Progression in Guinea Pigs

Abstract: Myopia (near-sightedness) results from progressive, excessive eye enlargement and is associated with blinding complications. It has become a significant public health concern, reaching epidemic levels in some parts of the world. The eye is like a balloon, with...   More >

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Role of Astrocytes in Neurovascular Coupling at the Capillary and Arteriole Level in the Retina and Brain

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

Anusha Mishra, University College London, UK

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Neuronal activity evokes a spatially and temporally localized increase in blood flow to power the information processing carried out by the neurons, a phenomenon that underlies BOLD fMRI signals. This neurovascular coupling occurs both in the brain and the retina.

In the retina, both light- and glial-stimulation evoke pronounced arteriole dilations (30.8±3.7% and 23.5±4.1%, respectively). This...   More >

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Time-Contrastive Networks: Self-Supervised Learning from Multi-View Observation

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | May 24 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Pierre Sermanet, Google Brain

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

We propose a self-supervised approach for learning representations entirely from unlabeled videos recorded from multiple viewpoints. This is particularly relevant to robotic imitation learning, which requires a viewpoint-invariant understanding of the relationships between humans and their environment, including object interactions, attributes and body pose. We train our representations using a...   More >

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Likelihood Based Evaluation for Scanpath Models in Scene Viewing

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

Heiko Schütt, University of Tübingen

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

When observers view natural scenes their eye movements show elaborate statistical patterns beyond the fixation density over an image. An important approach to understand these patterns --- and thus ultimately to understand how humans choose where to look at --- is to build models which generate full scanpaths in natural scenes, i.e. a sequence of fixation locations. There are a multitude of...   More >

Neural circuits for goal-directed sensorimotor transformation

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | May 30 | 2-3:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center

Carl Petersen, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

A key function of the brain is to interpret incoming sensory information in the context of learned associations in order to guide adaptive behavior. However, the precise neuronal circuits and causal mechanisms underlying goal-directed sensorimotor transformations remain to be clearly defined for the mammalian brain. Technological advances in mouse genetics to define cell-types, in optogenetics to...   More >

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Monitoring Covert Visual Decisions via Neural Population Dynamics in Frontal Cortex

Seminar: Distinguished Lecture | June 1 | 4-5 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall

William T. Newsome, Vincent C.V. Woo Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cognitive Mapping and Planning for Visual Navigation

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | June 7 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Saurabh Gupta, UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

560 Evans
We introduce a novel neural architecture for navigation in novel environments that learns a cognitive map from first person viewpoints and plans a sequence of actions towards goals in the environment. The Cognitive Mapper and Planner (CMP) is based on two key ideas: a) a unified joint architecture for mapping and planning, such that the mapping is driven by the needs of the planner,...   More >

Friday, June 9, 2017

Sculpted Light in the Brain

Conference/Symposium: Neuroscience Seminar | June 9 | 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. |  Stanley Hall

Bernardo Sabatini, Harvard Medical School; Hillel Adesnik, UC Berkeley; Josh Trachtenberg, UCLA; Laura Waller, UC Berkeley; Michael Hausser, University College London; Na Ji, UC Berkeley; Michael Lin, Stanford University; Rafael Yuste, Columbia University; Tommaso Fellin, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia; Ehud Isacoff, UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

“Sculpted Light in the Brain” is a one-day conference and workshop aimed at fostering collaborations between neuroscientists, computer scientists, optics researchers, and other scientists who share the common interest of developing better technology to observe and control neural activity in the awake, behaving brain. “Sculpted Light” refers to a broad class of methods where light is shaped to...   More >

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Computational experiments with two neuro-inspired abstractions: Hebbian learning and spike timing information

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | June 14 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall

Upamanyu Madhow, UCSB

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

In this talk, we discuss early work on two different neuro-inspired computational abstractions. In the first, we investigate flavors of competitive Hebbian learning for bottom-up training of deep convolutional neural networks. The resulting sparse neural codes are competitive with layered autoencoders on standard image datasets. Unlike standard training based on optimizing a cost function, our...   More >

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Deeper Understating of Deep Learning - Why Deep Neural Networks work so well?

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

Naftali Tishby, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills

Through analytical and numerical studies of Deep Neural Networks (using standard TensorFlow) in the ""Information Plane"" - the Mutual Information the network layers preserve on the input and the output variables - we obtain the following new insights:

1. The training epochs, for each layer, are divided into two phases: (1) fitting the training data - increasing the mutual information on the...   More >

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


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 >

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

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