Neural Information Coding and Computation
While you are reading this blurb, your eyes are sending signals to your brain, and your brain is interpreting those signals to decipher words. Research in the jZ lab identifies the language of this signaling. For example, what patterns of nerve impulses correspond to an “a” or an “e”? By understanding this “neural code”, our work leads to computer algorithms that mimic the mammalian visual system, and to implantable devices that stimulate a blind person’s brain, to restore their ability to see.
In parallel with our work on visual signal processing, we have recently started projects that will develop better cochlear implants, decipher the olfactory neural code, and elucidate the role of synaptic plasticity in the maintenance of short-term memory networks.