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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 >

Monday, December 18, 2017

Biologically plausible deep learning for recurrent spiking neural networks.

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | December 18 | 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 >

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