How neural circuits are wired up during development to perform computations

Monday, March 1, 2021 - 4:15pm
University of California, Berkeley
Public Lecture: 

Abstract:  How are neural circuits wired up during development to perform specific computations? We address this question in the retina, which comprises multiple circuits that encode different features of the visual scene.  These features are encoded in the neural activity of the activity of roughly 40 different types of retinal ganglion cells, the output cells of the retina that transit this information to the brain. We will explore the example of direction-selective ganglion cells, which respond strongly to an image moving in the preferred direction and weakly to an image moving in the opposite, or null, direction. This asymmetric computations is mediated by neurons that are symmetric in their shape but asymmetric in their connectivity,  I will present recent progress in the lab in characterizing how this asymmetric wiring emerges during development and the role that activity plays in establishing mature circuits.