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Broad Area Colloquium for Artificial Intelligence,
Geometry, Graphics, Robotics and Vision

Visual Neuroscience: Reverse Engineering the Brain

David J. Heeger
Stanford University

Monday, May 6th, 2002, 4:45PM
Gates B01


Recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging have made it possible for us to measure neuronal activity in the human brain while the subject is awake and performing any of a variety of tasks. Armed with this new tool, called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we are in the midst of a revolution in neuroscience. In vision research, in particular, never before have we had the opportunity to link "what you see" with "what your brain is doing". I will review the anatomy and physiology of the visual pathways in the human brain, and describe a series of experiments and computational models pertaining to visual pattern discrimination.

About the Speaker

David J. Heeger is an Associate Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, Biophysics, Electrical Engineering (by courtesy), and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and a research scientist at the NASA-Ames Research Center, before coming Stanford. His research spans an interdisciplinary cross-section of engineering, psychology, and neuroscience, the current focus of which is to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to quantitatively investigate the relationship between brain and behavior. He was awarded the David Marr Prize in computer vision in 1987, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in neuroscience in 1994, and the Troland Award in psychology from the National Academy of Sciences in 2002.

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