Our group is interested in the visual processing that happens at the nexus of visual perception and cognition. We are focused on understanding the sequence of neural events that allows the visual system to extract information about the content of the world (i.e. specific objects) from the light patterns encoded by the eye. We are particularly interested in the role that memory plays in visual processing and object recognition. For example, when you search for a particular face in a crowd, you have to compare the memory of the face you are looking for with each person you see. We are currently investigating the neural representations of visual memory and the neural mechanisms that allow you to determine if what you are looking "at" is also what you are looking "for". To address these questions, we monitor patterns of activity in populations of neurons in different brain areas while subjects perform object recognition tasks and use computational data analyses to decipher the neural code.
Psychology Graduate Group; Neuroscience Graduate Group
Rust NC, DiCarlo JJ (2012) Concurrent increases in selectivity and invariance produce constant sparseness across the ventral visual pathway. Journal of Neuroscience 32:10170-10182.
DiCarlo JJ, Zoccolan D, Rust NC (2012) Perspective: How does the brain solve visual object recognition? Neuron 73: 415-434.
Rust NC, DiCarlo JJ (2010) Selectivity and tolerance ("invariance") both increase as visual information propagates from V4 to IT. Journal of Neuroscience 30:12978-12995.
Rust NC, Stocker AA (2010) Ambiguity and invariance: two fundamental challenges for visual processing. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 20:382-388.