This course consists of 12 lectures on the visual system and neural coding produced by the Allen Institute for Brain Science. The lectures cover broad neurophysiological concepts such as information theory and the mammalian visual system, as well as more specific topics such as cell types and their functions in the mammalian retina.
Coding and Vision 101
From the retina to the superior colliculus, the lateral geniculate nucleus into primary visual cortex and beyond, this lecture gives a tour of the mammalian visual system highlighting the Nobel-prize winning discoveries of Hubel & Wiesel.
From Universal Turing Machines to McCulloch-Pitts and Hopfield associative memory networks, this lecture explains what is meant by computation.
In an overview of the structure of the mammalian neocortex, this lecture explains how the mammalian cortex is organized in a hierarchy, describing the columnar principle and canonical microcircuits.
The retina has 60 different types of neurons. What are their functions? This lecture explores the definition of cell types and their functions in the mammalian retina.
Optical imaging offers a look inside the working brain. This lecture takes a look at orientation and ocular dominance columns in the visual cortex, and shows how they can be viewed with calcium imaging.
Functional imaging has led to the discovery of a plethora of visual cortical regions. This lecture introduces functional imaging techniques and their teachings about the visual cortex.
This lecture explains these ideas and explores the task of characterizing neuronal response properties using information theory.
The "connectome" is a term, coined in the past decade, that has been used to describe more than one phenomenon in neuroscience. This lecture explains the basics of structural connections at the micro-, meso- and macroscopic scales.
What is color? This lecture explores how color is "made" in the brain and variations of color perception including trichromacy, color blindness in men, tetrachromatic vision in women, and genetic engineering of color perception.
How does the brain learn? This lecture discusses the roles of development and adult plasticity in shaping functional connectivity.
What is the difference between attention and consciousness? This lecture describes the scientific meaning of consciousness, journeys on the search for neural correlates of visual consciousness, and explores the possibility of consciousness in other beings and even non-biological structures.
This primer on optogenetics primer discusses how to manipulate neuronal populations with light at millisecond resolution and offers possible applications such as curing the blind and "playing the piano" with cortical neurons.