Our research is directed at understanding how the visual world is represented in the brain. We are particularly interested in what happens to neuronal signals in cerebral cortex when attention shifts -- changing which sensory representations are important and which are irrelevant. Our long-term goal is to understand how brain mechanisms allow us to access the specific subset of sensory representations that are needed for the task at hand.
To explore this question, we use a wide range of molecular, anatomical, electrophysiological, optical and behavioral approaches. In most experiments we train animals to perform challenging visual tasks and monitor the activity of groups of individual cells in their brains while they do the task. We can then analyze how these cells individually and collectively contribute to different aspects of task performance. In some experiments we also insert signals directly into the brain to measure which patterns of brain activity can support detection.