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Neurophysiology of the primate visual system

Research Achievements

Neurophysiology of the primate visual system

Neuroscience doctoral student Nathan Hall studies the neurophysiology of the primate visual system in the lab of Professor Carol Colby at the University of Pittsburgh and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. As an IGERT trainee, Hall learned to apply computational and quantitative methods to analyzing neurophysiological data. Recently he has been investigating a class of retinal receptors called S cones, and the types of visual stimuli that activate them. After publishing a paper describing the psychophysical calibration of S cones in macaque monkeys, Hall went on to show that S cone isolating stimuli can robustly activate neurons in the superior colliculus, a part of the brain involved in eye movement responses. In his most recent analyses, Hall is the first to show that adjusting the contrast of S cone stimuli modulates the latency of very fast eye movements called express saccades. These results were presented at the 2013 CoSyNe meeting; a manuscript is in preparation.