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Vijay Balasubramanian

investigates the principles underlying computation and communication in the brain.  He considers how large-scale functions and behaviors emerge from the collective activity of very large numbers of neurons of many functional types interacting in complex networks.  He uses theoretical and computational methods applied to data gathered from his own lab (multi-electrode array probes of retinal function function) and from the labs of collaborators. His work on the early visual system has established that many aspects of the structural and functional organization of the retina can be understood as adaptations to the statistical structure of natural scenes subject to biophysical constraints. He has also worked on optimization principles in neurobiology such as maximization of information transmission at fixed metabolic cost, and on problems in statistical inference.  He is currently working on the visual perception of textures and shapes,  on spatial cognition (i.e. our "sense of place" supported by  circuits in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex), and olfaction (i.e. our "sense of smell").   [Personal Website ➤]