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James W. Pennebaker, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

"How does the retina sample visual space?"

Wed, February 6, 2013 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • SEA 4.244 (Library/Auditorium)

Faculty Search Candidate for a Faculty Position in Psychology and/or Neurobiology

"How does the retina sample visual space?"

Presented by 

Greg Schwartz
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
University of Washington

Reception with refreshments at 11:30 a.m.

ABSTRACT: Visual space is the representation of space in the real world by the neural circuits of an animal's visual system. I will present results that suggest a greater sophistication in the representation of visual space by the retina than has been previously appreciated, and I will offer my vision for a path toward a more complete understanding of how the retina represents space. Standard receptive field models describe the average behavior of a visual neuron to spatial patterns but fail to predict responses to individual stimuli. I will describe a new approach to modeling spatial sampling in retinal ganglion cells using quantitative anatomy along with physiological measurements. This "bottom-up" model of the ganglion cell response predicts responses to arbitrary spatial patterns. I will also show evidence for a synaptic mechanism that is able to change the way a ganglion cell samples space with changes in background illumination.

Sponsored by: Center for Perceptual Systems Seminar Series


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