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.