Mike Wiest’s research explores the physical basis of attention and perception using a neuroscientific approach that relates the activities of neurons to different mental states. His research focuses on sensory integration in rats, attempting to understand how neural activity in different parts of the brain is combined or coordinated to generate a single coherent perception, by recording electrical impulses from many neurons at once while the rats perform behavioral tasks that depend on correctly sensing particular stimuli. Understanding the neural mechanisms of perception could lead to insights into human disorders that disrupt normal perceptual integration, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dyslexia, or attention deficit disorder. In addition to core courses in the Neuroscience program, Prof. Wiest teaches an advanced course in Computational Neuroscience, in which students learn how mathematical modeling and computer simulation can provide insight into the brain’s impressive functions.
Associate Professor, Neuroscience Program