Making sense of what you see: Thalamic circuits for vision and visually-guided action

March 30, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Sonja Hofer, hosted by Lindsey Glickfeld
Hofer headshot

Duke Neurobiology welcomes Sonja Hofer, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior. For connection info to her Zoom seminar, email
Partial Abstract: The classical model of sensory information processing is based on a hierarchical organization of feed-forward connections from one brain region to the next. However, perception is not only dependent on the sensory feed-forward input but also on the context in which a given stimulus occurs, such as an animal's behavioural state, its knowledge, expectations and actions. Such contextual, top-down information can strongly modulate sensory responses and influence how sensory information is interpreted and perceived. My lab studies the circuits supporting sensory information processing, how different signals are integrated by these circuits and the mechanisms by which context and behavioural relevance influence visual processing and visually-guided behaviour. While sensory perception is thought to mainly rely on cortical circuits, higher-order sensory nuclei in the thalamus interconnect extensively with all sensory cortical and many subcortical areas. In the first part of my talk, I will present our efforts to understand the role of higher-order thalamocortical interactions during sensory processing...