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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

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Neural oscillations: what, where, when, and why?

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


Bradley Voytek, University of California, San Diego

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

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 >

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