Northwestern University Dept. of Neurobiology and Physiology



Ravi Allada
Thomas Bozza
Jianhua Cang
Daniel Dombeck
Marco Gallio
William Klein
Yevgenia Kozorovitskiy
Robert Linsenmeier
Xu Liu
David McLean
Thomas Meade
Indira M. Raman

Tiffany Schmidt

Mark Segraves
Fred Turek

Catherine Woolley


David Ferster

PhD, Harvard

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David Ferster

Mammalian Visual Cortex

The mammalian visual cortex performs a remarkable transformation of the information it receives from the eye. Neurons in the cortex are sensitive to the orientation, motion, depth and size of objects in ways that the eye is not, which means that the cortex extracts this information from the nonspecific input it receives from the eye. We are studying the neuronal mechanisms by which this cortex performs this transformation. Neuronal connections are traced within the cortex and their functions observed during normal vision by recording intracellularly from neurons in vivo using a patch recording method developed in the lab. Our recent studies have focused on the manner in which excitatory and inhibitory inputs interact, the mechanisms of oscillatory firing and the origin of orientation and direction selectivity in cortical cells.