Vision: A Platform for Linking Circuits, Behavior & Perception
June 15 - 29, 2017
Application Deadline: March 31, 2017

Farran Briggs, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Andrew Huberman,
Stanford University

Onkar Dhande, Stanford University

Lindsey Salay, Stanford University

See the Roll of Honor - who's taken the course in the past

The purpose of this course is to bring together students and faculty for in-depth and high level discussions of modern approaches for probing how specific cell types and circuits give rise to defined categories of perception and action. It is also designed to address novel strategies aimed at overcoming diseases that compromise sensory function.

The visual system is the most widely studied sensory modality. Recently, three major shifts have occurred in the field of neuroscience. First, owing to the large array of genetic techniques available in mice and the relative ease of imaging and recording from the cortex of small rodents, the mouse visual system has become a premiere venue for attacking the fundamental unresolved question of how specific cells and circuits relate to visual performance at the receptive field and whole-animal level. Second, genetic and viral methods have evolved to the point where neurophysiologists can directly probe the role of defined circuits in species such as macaque monkeys, thus bridging the mechanism-cognition gap. Third, the field of visual neuroscience is rapidly paving the way for widespread clinical application of stem cell, gene therapy and prosthetic devices to restore sensory function in humans.

The time is ripe to build on the classic paradigms and discoveries of visual system structure, function and disease, in order to achieve a deep, mechanistic understanding of how receptive fields are organized and filter sensory information, how that information is handled at progressively higher levels of neural processing, and how different circuits can induce defined categories of percepts and behaviors in the healthy and diseased brain.

2017 Speakers:

Felice Dunn,
University of California, San Francisco
Botond Roska, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research
Lynne Kiorpes, New York University
Jonathan Horton, University of California, San Francisco
Judith Hirsch, University of Southern California
Marty Usrey, University of California, Davis
Jude Mitchell, University of Rochester
Sonja Hofer, University of Basel
David Fitzpatrick, Max Planck Florida Institute
Tony Movshon, New York University
Joe Carroll, Medical College of Wisconsin
Bevil Conway, Wellesley College
Doris Tsao, California Institute of Technology
Dan Salzman, Columbia University
Anne Churchland, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Rich Krauzlis, National Institute of Health
Tirin Moore, Stanford University
Jack Gallant, University of California, Berkeley
Jackie Gottlieb, Columbia University
Murray Sherman, University of Chicago
Steven Becker, National Institute of Health
Thomas Greenwell, National Institute of Health
Neeraj Agarwal, National Institute of Health

Course Schedule:
June 14: Students arrive (late afternoon)
June 15: Visual System Overview/ Retina Cell Types
June 16: Visual System Disease I
June 17: Visual System Disease II
June 18: Thalamocortical/corticothalamic Interactions
June 19: Cross-modal/ cross-species integration
June 20: Funding Goals
June 21: Feature Detection in Visual Cortex
June 22: Day Off
June 23: Color
June 24: Shapes & Faces
June 25: Career Development Day
June 26: Multi-sensory integration
June 27: Attention, eye movements & goal-directed behavior
June 28: Large Scale Organization and Cognitive Control
June 29: Departure

The course will be held at the Laboratory’s Banbury Conference Center located on the north shore of Long Island. All participants stay within walking distance of the Center, close to tennis court, pool and private beach.

Support & Stipends

Major support provided by the National Eye Institute  , Helmsley Charitable Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:

Domestic applicants (National Eye Institute)
Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology)  & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) (Helmsley Charitable Trust)
International applicants (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Scientists from developing countries accepted into this course may be eligible for scholarships provided by the International Brain Research Organization.

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the  instructors. 

Cost (including board and lodging): $3,800 

This button links to a short form which confirms your interest in the course. No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course.

Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on Wednesday June 14 and plan to depart in the morning of Thursday 29.