Presented by Dr. Brian Wandell
Location: Meyer Forum Room
Visual cortex has been an excellent model system for developing a quantitative understanding of brain function. We understand a great deal about the physical signals that initiate vision, and this knowledge has led to a relatively advanced understanding of the organization of major structures in visual cortex. This talk will explain several measurements and neuroimaging methods that are used to understand human visual cortex.
First, we have developed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) methods for measuring and quantifying the properties of maps in individual human and macaque brains.
Second, we have made functional measurements of cortical plasticity to examine the consequences of abnormal retinal development, retinal disorders, and acquired damage. These experiments were performed in both human and macaque.
Third, we are combining fMRI with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to understand visual development of the pathways needed for reading. Specifically, as children develop and learn to read certain visual recognition skills become highly automatized and the brain develops specialized visual circuitry to support skilled reading. We are measuring how certain parts of the essential visual circuits develop, and how the signals from these circuits are transmitted to other cortical systems.
Bio: Brian Wandell is the first Isaac and Madeline Stein Family Professor at Stanford University. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1973 with a B.S. in mathematics and psychology. In 1977, he earned a Ph.D. in social science from the University of California at Irvine. After a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty of Stanford University in 1979. Professor Wandell was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1984 and became a full professor in 1988.
Brian Wandell’s research includes image system engineering and visual neuroscience. In cooperation with Professor Emeritus Joseph Goodman (a faculty member in Stanford’s School of Engineering), Professor Wandell founded the university’s Stanford Center for Image Systems Engineering Program. As part of this research, Wandell and his team study and build devices used for digital imaging, including image sensors, high dynamic range displays, and software simulations of the digital imaging pipeline.
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