A “reunion” of our in-house colloquium on pathways and representations for vision and audition

May 5, 2011

As described earlier in the blog, we have been having a mini colloquium series here at Cold Spring Harbor the has focussed on sensory pathways in the cortex. This series has allowed us to make some interesting comparisons between audition and vision, but has left us at a loss in terms of figuring out how much information is actually carried in those pathways. To delve into these issues, we brought in a theorist, Jonathan Pillow from UT Austin who will spoke about his work on this topic.

As with the other talks in the series, this seminar was unbelievably well attended. Jonathan talked a bit about the history of Bayesian inference, and then described several recent lines of research from his laboratory. One topic which generated a lot of interest is a new model of decision-making in LIP that he is working on in conjunction with Alex Huk.  The model puts forth that LIP neurons reflect not only sensory evidence for an against a decision, but also reflect visual inputs unrelated to the decision, trial history, and saccadic activity. The idea that these task attributes drive LIP neurons is likely to be agreed upon by most physiologists who record there, but a model that explicitly incorporates them has perhaps been missing from the literature. We await to see whether these guys will build urgency into their model, too!



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Fairhall lab

Computational neuroscience at the University of Washington

Pillow Lab Blog

Neural Coding and Computation Lab @ Princeton University

Churchland lab

Perceptual decision-making at Cold Spring Harbor

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