Broad Area Colloquium For AI-Geometry-Graphics-Robotics-Vision

Computational Neuroimaging: Measuring the Mind

Brian A. Wandell
Stanford University
Monday, November 18, 2002, 4:15PM
TCSeq 200


In the early 1990s, physicists showed that magnetic resonance (MR) scanners can measure activity in the human brain, not just structure. This method of MR imaging, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has opened up many new scientific areas for exploration. A topic of great interest is the relationship between neural activity and conscious experience. For example, what are the signals in the brain that explain how we see color and motion? What does it mean when we pay attention, remember, or decide? How does the brain change with experience or following injury? I will present a general description of fMRI, including its abilities and limitations. Then, I will describe how the method can be combined with other neuroscience tools to investigate perceptual aspects of experience.

About the Speaker

Brian Wandell is the Stein Family Professor in the Psychology Department at Stanford University. His research includes the image systems engineering and visual neuroscience. In Engineering, Wandell founded (with J. Goodman) the Image Systems Engineering Program at Stanford. He is co-principal investigator (with A. El Gamal) of the Programmable Digital Camera program, an industry sponsored effort to develop programmable CMOS sensors. Wandell's work in visual neurosciences uses both functional MRI and psychophysics, spanning studies of the computation and representation of color and measurements of reorganization of brain function during development and following brain injury. Wandell is the author of Foundations of Vision, a textbook on Vision Science. Wandell won the 1986 Troland Research Award from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences for his work in color vision; he was made a Fellow the Optical Society of America in 1990; in 1997 he was made a McKnight Senior Investigator the Edrige-Green Medal in Opthalmology for his work in visual neuroscience. He was awarded the Macbeth Prize from the Inter-Society Color Council in 2000.

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