Vision begins with neural computation in the retina, which sends a highly processed version of the visual world along multiple parallel pathways to the brain. Our research is focused on understanding visual computations in the primate retina and on using this information for the design of artificial retinas to treat blindness. I will describe the state of our understanding of visual computations in the retinal circuitry, with an emphasis on open problems for future exploration, and on achieving a synthetic understanding appropriate for diverse applications.
E.J. Chichilnisky is the John R. Adler Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, where he has been since 2013 after 15 years at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He received his M.S. in mathematics and Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University. His research program focuses on understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of electrical activity in the retina that convey visual information to the brain, and their origins in retinal circuitry, using large-scale multi-electrode recordings. His lab also works on physiological experiments with electrical stimulation aimed at advancing the design of visual prostheses for treating blindness. He has directed or taught at the Cold Spring Harbor Computational Vision course since 1998. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, a McKnight Scholar Award, and a McKnight Technological Innovation in Neuroscience Award.