David Ferster Professor Emeritus
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.
- Priebe NJ, Ferster D. (2010). Neuroscience: Each synapse to its own. Nature, Apr 29;464(7293):1290-1.
- Churchland MM, Yu BM, Cunningham JP, Sugrue LP, Cohen MR, Corrado GS, Newsome WT, Clark AM, Hosseini P, Scott BB, Bradley DC, Smith MA, Kohn A, Movshon JA, Armstrong KM, Moore T, Chang SW, Snyder LH, Lisberger SG, Priebe NJ, Finn IM, Ferster D, Ryu SI, Santhanam G, Sahani M, Shenoy KV. (2010). Stimulus onset quenches neural variability: a widespread cortical phenomenon. Nat Neurosci, Mar;13(3):369-78.
- Ozeki H, Finn IM, Schaffer ES, Miller KD, Ferster D. (2009). Inhibitory stabilization of the cortical network underlies visual surround suppression. Neuron, 28;62(4):578-92.
- Priebe NJ, Ferster D. (2008). Inhibition, spike threshold, and stimulus selectivity in primary visual cortex. Neuron, 57(4):482-97.
- Finn IM, Ferster D. (2007). Computational diversity in complex cells of cat primary visual cortex. J Neurosci, 27(36):9638-48.
- Finn, I.M., Priebe, N.J. and Ferster, D. (2007). The emergence of contrast-invariant orientation tuning in simple cells of the cat visual cortex. Neuron, 54:137-152.
- Priebe, N.J. and Ferster, D. (2006). Mechanisms underlying cross-orientation suppression in cat primary visual cortex. Nat Neurosci, 9:552-561.
- Boudreau, C.E. and Ferster, D. (2005). Short-term synaptic depression in thalamocortical synapses of the cat primary visual cortex. J Neurosci, 25:7179-7190.