The main aim of my research is to understand the activity of single neurons and populations of neurons in the visual system, to uncover the neural correlates of perceptual decisions. I seek to understand how the visual system is wired up and to find simple mathematical expressions to describe its output. A goal for my research is to predict a neuron's responses to arbitrary, complex visual stimuli.
However, the activity in the visual system depends not only on visual stimuli, but also on what the rest of the brain is doing. My main effort, therefore, focuses on understanding how the visual system integrates sensory inputs from the eyes and lateral inputs from the brain. This work is done in close collaboration with Kenneth Harris, with whom I share the Cortical Processing Laboratory.
The long-term goal is a cohesive understanding of how the brain processes visual information. This goal probably won’t be achieved in my lifetime for the human brain, but for the mouse brain it might.
I come to this work from a foundation in pure visual neuroscience: understanding the visual system as an image processing device. See e.g. the symposium I organized in 2005. Or watch a 2005 talk delivered at the National Institutes of Health, or at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute.
More recent talks include a 2011 talk delivered at Janelia Farm and a 2012 talk delivered at University College London.
My work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the European Research Council, and the UK charity Fight for Sight. In the past we have also been funded by the Medical Research Council, the National Eye Institute, the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, the James S McDonnell Foundation, the Human Frontiers Science Program, and the Swiss National Foundation.
Occasionally I write brief reviews of recent papers on Faculty of 1000 (requires subscription). Also, of possible interest are the reviews that others have written about our work, and my collection of failed Neuron covers.
In the past I have helped run the Computational and Systems Neuroscience meeting and more recently I have run the 2009 and 2012 workshops on Canonical Neural Computation. My thoughts on how to relate neural circuits to behavior are described in a paper titled "From circuits to behavior: a bridge too far?" (Nature Neurosci, 2012). Click here for PDF.
Some random thoughts about neuroscience and science careers are in this interview. Or on page 9 of this publication. If you can read Italian, you get a bit of a back story here. Finally, here are the citations to my work on Google Scholar, and this is where I stand in the big tree.
My email address is my first name @cortexlab.net.