The  Weizmann  Institute  of  Science
                  Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science


                          Vision and Robotics Seminar

                                  Ehud Ahissar
                           Department of Neurobiology


                                 will speak on


                     Neuronal Mechanisms of Active Sensing

Abstract:
Mammals acquire much of their sensory information by actively moving their sensory organs.
Humans scan surfaces with their eyes and fingers, and rats scan their surrounding 
environment with their whiskers (vibrissae).  The principles of sensory encoding and
decoding by active sensing are not known.

One constrain imposed by active sensing is that much of the sensory information must
be encoded in time. I will demonstrate this temporal encoding in vision and touch, and 
discuss its implications. I will then focus on the rat vibrissal system, and present our
experimental path aiming at revealing the encoding-decoding schemes used by this system 
during active touch; this research covers all processing stages from the receptor level 
to the somatosensory cortex. Finally, if time permits, I will discuss possible implications
of our results on visual and auditory processing.




                      The lecture will take place in the 
                     Lecture Hall, Room 1, Ziskind Building
                           on Thursday, March 6, 2003
                                  11:00 - noon