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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 >

Monday, April 2, 2018

Rhythms for Cognition: Communication through Coherence

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | April 2 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Pascal Fries, Ernst Strüngmann Institute (ESI) for Neuroscience

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Free viewing of natural images induces gamma-band oscillations in early visual cortex. If the gamma rhythm in a lower visual area entrains a gamma rhythm in a higher visual area, this might establish an effective communication protocol: The lower area sends a representation of the visual stimulus rhythmically, and the higher area is most excitable precisely when this representation arrives. At...   More >



Neurodevelopmental Mechanisms linking Early Adversity with Adolescent Psychopathology

Colloquium | April 2 | 12:10-1:10 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall


Kate McLaughlin, Department of Psychology, University of Washington

Institute of Human Development


Children who have experienced environmental adversity—such as abuse, neglect, or poverty—are at markedly elevated risk for developing psychopathology. What is less clear is how and why adverse early experiences exert such a profound influence on mental health. Identifying developmental processes that are disrupted by adverse early environments is the key to developing better intervention...   More >

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Informed Approaches to Deep Learning via Neural Networks with Random Parameters

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | April 3 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Yasaman Bahri, Google Brain

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Obtaining a better understanding of neural networks with random parameters is relevant for deep learning practice — for instance, by informing good initializations — and is a natural first step in building a more complete base of knowledge within deep learning. I will survey some of our recent work at Google Brain which originated from the study of random neural networks. [1]. I’ll begin by...   More >

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Biology of Bedtime: Understanding Circadian Rhythms and Sleep

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

Friday, April 6, 2018

“Resource-Rational Attention Allocation”

Colloquium | April 6 | 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 5101 Tolman Hall


Fred Callaway, UC Berkeley

Department of Psychology


One of two 30 min research talks by graduate students.

Monday, April 9, 2018

​Graduate Students Seminar

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


Stephanie Wan, UC Berkeley, Fleiszig Lab; Kathryn Bonnen, University of Texas at Austin, Huk Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Stephanie Wan’s Talk Title: Impact of contact lens wear and dry eye on the amicrobiomic status of the murine cornea

Abstract: Contrasting with the conjunctiva and other exposed body surfaces, the cornea does not host a stable bacterial population (amicrobiomic). Yet, the cornea and conjunctiva are not usually distinguished in ocular surface microbiome research. Additionally, commonly used...   More >

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

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Tale of Two Strains: Ocular Studies in B6 and BALB/c Mice

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


Elizabeth Berger, PhD, Professor, Wayne State University

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: Corneal infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa perforates the cornea in C57BL/6 (B6), but not BALB/c mice. Comparative analysis of these two responses has revealed that B6 mice, type 1-dominant responders, exhibit increased inflammation, leading to an exacerbated disease response when compared to BALB/c mice, which demonstrate a less severe/resistant response and are classified as type...   More >

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

Friday, April 20, 2018

Optogenetic and Chemogenetic Tools for Mapping Molecular and Cellular Circuits: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar | April 20 | 2-3 p.m. | 60 Evans Hall


Prof. Alice Ting, Stanford University, Genetics/Biology/Chemistry

Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute


The first part of the talk will describe optogenetic tools we have developed for labeling and manipulating functional circuits in the brain (e.g., FLARE and related tools).

The second part of the talk will describe chemogenetic tools we have developed for mapping molecular interactions in living cells (e.g., APEX and TurboID).

********
Alice Ting did her PhD in Chem here at UC Berkeley...   More >

Monday, April 23, 2018

Mobilizing Synaptic Plasticity to Promote Recovery from Amblyopia

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


Dr. Mark Bear, PhD, PiCower Professor of Neuroscience, MIT

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Amblyopia is a prevalent form of visual disability that arises during infancy and early childhood when inputs to the visual cortex from the two eyes are poorly balanced (e.g., by misalignment of the eyes, asymmetric refraction, or opacities and obstructions of one eye). Characteristics of amblyopia are very poor acuity in one eye, and an attendant loss of stereopsis. The current standard of care...   More >

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Deciphering the Dynamics of the Unconscious Brain Under General Anesthesia

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

Friday, April 27, 2018

Education, plasticity and learning: the virtuous cycle between education and neuroscience

Lecture | April 27 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 3105 Tolman Hall


Jason D. Yeatman, PhD, Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, University of Washington

Department of Psychology


Reading instruction prompts the emergence of neural circuits that are specialized for rapidly translating printed symbols into sound and meaning. Understanding how these circuits differ in children with dyslexia, and change with learning, is an important scientific challenge that holds practical implications for education. In this talk I will present new data linking changes in the white matter...   More >

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Perturbation and Control of Human Brain Network Dynamics

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


Dani Bassett, University of Pennsylvania

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract: The human brain is a complex organ characterized by heterogeneous patterns of interconnections. New non-invasive imaging techniques now allow for these patterns to be carefully and comprehensively mapped in individual humans, paving the way for a better understanding of how wiring supports our thought processes. While a large body of work now focuses on descriptive statistics to...   More >

Monday, May 7, 2018

Oxyopia - Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | May 7 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Paul Cullen, John Flanagan Lab; Brian Cheung, Bruno Olshausen Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Paul Cullen
John Flanagan Lab
Title: The Secret Lives of Retinal Astrocytes
Abstract: The study of glia – the support cells of the central nervous system – has come a long way since Rudolf Virchow described a connective tissue of the brain that he termed ‘nervenkitt’ in 1856. Rather than a passive scaffolding for neurons (the word ‘glia’ means glue in Greek), these cells are responsible for a...   More >

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Expander graph architectures for high-capacity neural memory

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | May 22 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Rishidev Chaudhuri, UT Austin/Simons Institute UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Memory networks in the brain must balance two competing demands. On the one hand, they should have high capacity to store the large numbers of stimuli an organism must remember over a lifetime. On the other hand, noise is ubiquitous in the brain and memory is typically retrieved from incomplete input. Thus, memories must be encoded with some redundancy, which reduces capacity. Current neural...   More >

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Characterizing neurons in the visual area V4 through interpretable machine learning

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | May 23 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Reza Abbasi-Asl, UC Berekely

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


In the past decade, research in machine learning has been exceedingly focused on the development of algorithms and models with remarkably high predictive capabilities. Models such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have achieved state-of-the-art predictive performance for many tasks in computer vision, autonomous driving, and transfer learning in areas such as computational neuroscience....   More >

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Inference and Efficient Coding in Natural Auditory Scenes

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


Wiktor Mlynarski, MIT

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Processing of natural stimuli in sensory systems has been traditionally studied within two theoretical frameworks: probabilistic inference and efficient coding. Probabilistic inference specifies optimal strategies for learning about relevant properties of the environment from local and ambiguous sensory signals. Efficient coding provides a normative approach to study encoding of natural stimuli...   More >

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Eavesdropping on Cortical Plasticity

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | June 14 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Adi Mizrahi, The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


One of the overarching goal in our lab is to understand cortical plasticity in adult circuits. This goal remains challenging because cortical neurons are functionally heterogeneous and access to specific active neurons for further experimentation is limited. In the primary auditory cortex (A1), for example, spiking responses to natural stimuli like vocalization cannot be easily predicted from...   More >

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Optimal sensors in random environments

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | June 20 | 12-1:30 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Sarah Marzen, MIT

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


The efficient coding hypothesis has revolutionized theoretical neuroscience. I would argue that it is best understood using rate-distortion theory. I use rate-distortion theory to inspire a simple model of sensory adaptation. In randomly drawn, fluctuating environments, this model suggests that neurogenesis in sensory regions is unnecessary and predicts that biological sensors are poised to just...   More >

Monday, June 25, 2018

Expression of ethanol sensitive glycine receptors in several brain regions

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | June 25 | 2-3:30 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Luis Aguayo, University of Concepcion, Chile

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Synaptic glycine receptors (GlyR) are expressed primarily in spinal cord and brain stem neurons. GlyRs are sensitive to general anesthetics, neurosteroids, Zn2+ and ethanol. Recently, GlyRs were also found in other supratentorial regions, but their properties are largely unknown. Mesolimbic regions, such as ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (nAc), were also found to express GlyRs...   More >

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Ins and Outs of Visual cortex

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


Massimo Scanziani, University of California San Francisco, Center for Integrative Neuroscience Sandler Neurosciences Center

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology


This seminar is partially sponsored by NIH

Monday, September 10, 2018

An objective functional biomarker of retinal ganglion cell function: Applications for probing disease mechanisms

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | September 10 | 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Suresh Viswanathan, Associate Professor & Chair of Biological and Vision Sciences, SUNY College of Optometry

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Work over the last decade and a half have identified and characterized a retinal ganglion cell nerve component in the flash electroretinogram. This talk will review the evidence for retinal ganglion cell origin of this potential, its mechanism of generation and applications towards understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of glaucoma and mild traumatic brain injury.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Correlated neural activity across the brains of socially interacting bats

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


Wujie Zhang, Yartsev Lab, UC Berkeley

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Social interaction is fundamental to our everyday life and that of diverse animals. When two animals interact, they behave in different ways. Thus, to get a full picture of the neural activity underlying each interaction, we need to record from the brains of both animals at the same time. We do so in a highly social mammal, the Egyptian fruit bat, using wireless electrophysiology, which allows...   More >

Monday, September 17, 2018

​Graduate Students Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | September 17 | 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Vivek Labhishetty, PhD; Baladitya Yellapragada, PhD

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Vivek Labhishetty's Abstract
Retinal-Conjugate Surfaces: The Blur Horopter
When we fixate at an object, the image of that object is brought to sharp focus on the fovea due to the eye’s accommodation. Other objects in the periphery may be farther or nearer than best focus on those parts of the retina. We measured the shape of surface of best focus in the world as the eye accommodates to...   More >



Information decomposition

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


Juergen Jost, MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


In many situations, two or more sources have some information about a target. For instance, sensory input and context information can jointly determine the firing pattern of a neuron. Since the information from the two sources is typically not identical, one wishes to decompose it in those parts that are unique to each source, what is shared between them and what is complementary, that is,...   More >

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Learning Representations for Planning

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | September 18 | 12-1 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Aviv Tamar, Postdoc, UC Berkeley's Artificial Intelligence Research Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Abstract:
How can we build autonomous robots that operate in unstructured and dynamic environments such as homes or hospitals?
This problem has been investigated under several disciplines, including planning (motion planning, task planning, etc.), and reinforcement learning. While both of these fields have witnessed tremendous progress, each have fundamental drawbacks when it comes to...   More >

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

​Graduate Student Seminar

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | September 24 | 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Ethan Bensinger, Roorda Lab; Baladitya Yellapragada, Yu Lab

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Ethan Bensinger's Talk Title
Dysflective Cones: Differences in Cone Reflectivity and Function in Healthy Subjects
Confocal Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) images acquired in healthy subjects reveal small areas with diminished cone reflectivity. In a survey of AOSLO images these transient hyporeflective areas of cones were found in 19 of the 80 eyes. 3 healthy subjects with...   More >



The neural circuits underlying motor planning and short-term memory

Seminar: Neuroscience Seminar | September 24 | 4-5 p.m. | 125 Li Ka Shing Center


Karel Svoboda, Janelia Research Campus, HHMI

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Our goal is to uncover the principles by which mammalian neural circuits perform fundamental computations, from perception to action. Cortex is parcellated into areas with distinct functions, each of which contains complex local circuits. Cortical areas in turn associate into mesoscale circuits with other cortical and subcortical areas via long-range connections. Information is represented by...   More >

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A New Benchmark and Progress Toward Improved Weakly Supervised Learning

Seminar: Redwood Seminar | September 26 | 12-1 p.m. | 560 Evans Hall


Russ Webb, Apple

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


A primary goal of this work is to give a clear example of the limits of current, deep-learning techniques and suggest how progress can be made. The presentation will include a discussion of open questions, unpublished experiments, suggestions on how to make progress. This work is founded on the paper Knowledge Matters: Importance of Prior Information for Optimization by Gulcehre et. al., which...   More >

Friday, September 28, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

(Computer) Vision without Sight: Finding, Reading, and Magnifying Text

Seminar: Oxyopia Seminar | October 1 | 11:10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | 489 Minor Hall


Roberto Manduchi, Professor of Computer Engineering, UC Santa Cruz

Neuroscience Institute, Helen Wills


Reading is a pervasive activity in our daily life. We read text printed on books and documents, shown on directional signs and advertisement, and displayed on computer and smartphone screens. People who are blind can read text using OCR on their smartphone; those with low vision may magnify onscreen content. But these tasks are not always easy. Reading a document with OCR requires taking a...   More >

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Berkeley ACM A.M. Turing Laureate Lecture: Towards a Conscious AI: A Computer Architecture Inspired by Neuroscience

Colloquium | October 17 | 4-5 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium


Manuel Blum, UC Berkeley

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)


Thanks to major advances in neuroscience, we are on the brink of a scientific understanding of how the brain achieves consciousness. This talk will describe neuroscientist Bernard Baars' Global Workspace Model (GWM) of the brain, its implications for understanding consciousness, and a novel computer architecture that it inspires. The Model gives insight for the design of machines that truly...   More >