UCL Logo



Sheila Nirenberg

Department of Physiology, Cornell University, USA


Wednesday 13 September 2006, 16:00

Seminar Room B10 (Basement)

Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR



Testing hypotheses about computations in the visual system using targeted cell class ablation


Our lab works on the general question "How do networks of neurons carry out computations?" and focuses largely on the visual system. While a great deal is known about individual neurons in this system [96] in terms of their response properties and patterns of connections [96] relatively little is known about how they act together in networks to produce specific outputs or carry out computations. Even computations that seem relatively simple, such as determining the direction of motion of a moving object or the orientation of a line, are still not completely understood. One approach to this problem is to dissect the networks using targeted cell class ablation [96] that is, dissect them by systematically eliminating different classes of cells and assessing how the system's output is perturbed. The focus of my talk will be on a method we developed for this purpose and the results of using it to study visual network function.