Undergraduate Lecture Series 2017

Undergraduate Lecture Series 2017

Professor Nancy Kanwisher - MIT
CBMM Research Thrust 4 Leader – Social Intelligence, and Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Professor Patrick Winston - MIT - "The Genesis Group"
CBMM Coordinator for Research & Thrust 3 Investigator – Visual Intelligence, and Ford Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science

Professor Michale Fee - MIT

Michale Fee studies how the brain learns and generates complex sequential behaviors, with a focus on the songbird as a model system. Birdsong is a complex behavior that young birds learn from their fathers and it provides an ideal system to study the neural basis of learned behavior. Because the parts of the bird's brain that control song learning are closely related to human circuits that are disrupted in brain disorders such as Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, Fee hopes the lessons learned from birdsong will provide new clues to the causes and possible treatment of these conditions.

Professor Aude Oliva - MIT

Aude Oliva's research is cross-disciplinary, spanning human perception/cognition, computer vision (visual AI), and cognitive neuroscience, focusing on research questions at the intersection of the three domains. Her work in Computational Perception and Cognition builds on the synergy between human and machine recognition, and how it applies to solving high-level recognition problems like understanding scenes and events, perceiving space, modelling attention, eye movements and memory, as well as predicting subjective properties of images (like memorability). Her research integrates knowledge and tools from image processing, statistics, computer vision, deep learning as well as human perception, cognition and neuro-imaging (fMRI, MEG).

Professor Jim DiCarlo - MIT

James DiCarlo examines the complex network of brain regions that allow us to recognize vast numbers of objects rapidly and effortlessly. His current focus is on a series of successive brain areas, known as the ventral visual processing stream, that is of special importance for object recognition. DiCarlo also develops computational models of the brain with the ultimate goal of building a computer simulation of the brain's capacity for object recognition–such models could provide insights into the sensory deficits that occur after stroke or brain injury.

Prof. Pawan Sinha - MIT - "Modeling vision: Project Prakash"
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Laboratory for Vision Research at MIT

Professor Gabriel Kreiman - Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School - "Everything you always wanted to know about the visual system but were afraid to ask"

Gabriel Kreiman is Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He is also a faculty at Children’s Hospital, the Department of Neurology at HMS, the Center for Brain Science, the Swartz Center for Theoretical Neuroscience and the Mind, Brain and Behavior Initiative at Harvard. He studied Physical Chemistry for his B.Sc. at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (1996). He received a M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Biology and Computational Neuroscience) from the California Institute of Technology in 2002 under Prof. Koch’s mentorship. He pursued postdoctoral work with Prof. Poggio at MIT. The Kreiman Laboratory combines computational modeling, neurophysiological recordings and psychophysical measurements to further our understanding of the neuronal circuits and mechanisms underlying perception and cognition.

Professor Sam Gershman - Harvard

Research interests:  Learning, memory, decision making, computational neuroscience

Samuel Gershman received his B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University in 2007 and his Ph.D. in Psychology and Neuroscience from Princeton University in 2013. From 2013-2015 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. 

The Gershman lab's research aims to understand how richly structured knowledge about the environment is acquired, and how this knowledge aids adaptive behavior. The lab uses a combination of behavioral, neuroimaging and computational techniques to pursue these questions.

Professor Joel Oppenheim - NYU School of Medicine

In collaboration with NYU School of Medicine colleague Dr. G.J. Thorbecke, our group seeks to elucidate the function of IgD, an immunoglobulin that, while in trace amounts in serum (less than 1% of total), is present on the surface of most B lymphocytes. Although IgD's precise biological function has not been defined, considerable evidence indicates its role in humoral immunoaugmentation. In vivo and in vitro murine studies suggest that IgD's augmentation involvement applies to primary and secondary antibody responses, with helper T cells acting as mediators of the effect. This augmentation appears to result from direct contact between IgD and a specific class of T cells expressing IgD receptors on their cell surface (T-delta cells). Such contact causes up-regulation of the IgD receptors on these T cells, allowing them to bind more strongly to B cells and facilitating B-cell activation and proliferation. In microdissection studies of purified murine and human IgD to determine the minimum molecular entity that can induce IgD receptor up-regulation on T cells, we showed that IgD immune augmentation resides solely in the carbohydrate moieties on the molecule and, in murine IgD, specifically in N-linked sequences. Continuing studies examine 1) the precise oligosaccharide sequence(s) responsible for this IgD biological activity, 2) the synthesis of such sequences, 3) the nature and specificity of the IgD receptor, and 4) the use of purified IgD, or carbohydrate sequences therefrom, to stimulate various immune responses.

  • Our group also develops unique protocols and techniques for purifying biologically and immunologically active proteins.
  • NYU School of Medicine website