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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

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 >

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Division of Neurobiology and H. Wills Neuroscience Institute

Seminar | April 5 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Amita Sehgal, University of Pennsylvania

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: Computational dysfunctions in anxiety: Failure to differentiate signal from noise

Colloquium | April 10 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Martin Paulus, Scientific Director and President, Laureate Institute for Brain Research

Department of Psychology

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cognitive Neuroscience Colloquium: Neural oscillations: What we're doing wrong

Colloquium | April 17 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Brad Voytek, Professor, Department of Cognitive Science, UCSD

Department of Psychology

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Division of Neurobiology and H. Wills Neuroscience Institute

Seminar | April 26 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 101 Life Sciences Addition


Emery Brown , Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Thursday, May 24, 2018