Ulbert | Lab
Visual systems neuroscience lab
Multi-modal investigation of the complete visual pathway (retina, LGN and visual cortex)
in rat, cat and human samples both in vitro and in vivo.
Advances in machine vision are indisputable, still the mammalian visual system outperforms the best computers in every moment. The main interest of our lab is to understand the circuits underlying visual computations in the mammalian visual system in order to inspire better machine-vision architectures and algorithms. The first few decades of modern neuroscience witnessed major discoveries on how visual information is processed and distributed in the feline and primate brain.
The computation of visual motion has been one of the most studied subjects in experimental and computational neuroscience. Hubel and Wiesel discovered cells sensitive to the direction of motion in the feline visual cortex whereas Barlow and Lewick demonstrated that direction selective cells exist in the rabbit retina. After the late 2000s, the mouse became the primary model in neuroscience due to the ever-growing availability of genetic tools. Whether and how the retinal and cortical forms of motion computation are related remained unanswered.
We used transgenic mouse models to show that in mice cortical direction selectivity depends on retinal computation of motion direction primarily along posterior direction of motion. Our experiments also revealed that circuits downstream to the retina are able to compute the direction of motion when all retinal motion-direction computations have been disrupted. Our current efforts focus on establishing genetic circuit interrogation tools in high-visual acuity non-rodent species. We collaborate with experimentalists and theoreticians to reveal how the visual system of non-rodent species works and develops. Our lab is multidisciplinary welcoming both experimentalist and theory-oriented minds.
Two-photon laser scanning microscope (Femtonics/Olympus)
Coherent Chameleon Ultra II femtosecond pulse lasers (galvo and resonant)
Confocal laser scanning microscope (Zeiss LSM 710)
Access to light-sheet and advanced two-photon microscopes in collaborating labs.
Please visit our Publications page for the full list.
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