Dr. David Ferster
Dr. David Ferster is the chair of the Neurobiology
and Physiology Department at Northwestern University.
His research focuses on the Mammalian Visual Cortex. The
mammalian visual cortex performs a remarkable transformation
of the information it receives from the eye. Neurons in
the cortex are sensitive to the orientation, motion, depth
and size of objects in ways that the eye is not, which means
that the cortex extracts this information from the nonspecific
input it receives from the eye. He is studying the neuronal
mechanisms by which this cortex performs this transformation.
Neuronal connections are traced within the cortex and their
functions observed during normal vision by recording intracellularly
from neurons in vivo using a patch recording method developed
in the lab. His recent studies have focused on the manner
in which excitatory and inhibitory inputs interact, the
mechanisms of oscillatory firing and the origin of orientation
and direction selectivity in cortical cells.