Gilles Laurent

Max Planck Institute for Brain Research

Explorations of a Simple Visual Cortex

Monday 19 May 2014

Location: Oxford Martin School, Old Indian Institute, 34 Broad Street, Oxford

Biography: I will be presenting the recent experimental work my lab has undertaken to try and decipher visual computation in reptilian cortex, a three-layer structure close to mammalian paleo- and archi-cortices, probably close to the dorsal pallial structure that existed in their common ancestor some 320 million years ago. Our approach is to develop and combine behavioral, electrophysiological, optical, electron microscopic and molecular techniques on a system that presents a number of experimental advantages, and to eventually—we are not there yet!—shed light on the computational architecture of cerebral cortex.

Abstract: After studying veterinary medicine and neuroethology in Toulouse, Gilles Laurent was a Locke Research Fellow of the Royal Society in Cambridge (1987-1990). In 1990, he joined the Division of Biology and the Computation and Neural Systems Program at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He stayed on the faculty at Caltech until 2009, when he became a director at the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research in Frankfurt/Main.