SURF

Hongsik Park

Feature detection in rats

A detailed mechanism of this so-called “feature detection” has been recently studied in humans; however, this mechanism has not been investigated in any animal model yet (Neri and Heeger 2002). Due to the general belief that rodents have very poor vision, scientists have paid little attention to them on the topic of visual perception. However, studies in the last 10 years have actually shown that the rodent visual systems present properties similar to those of other mammals such as cats and monkeys. Therefore, I believe rodents could be used as model systems to study the neural correlates of visual perception, and more importantly, that the results I obtain will help bridge the gap between animal models of perception and our understanding of human vision. My project will focus on investigating these spatiotemporal mechanisms for feature detection through behavioral experiments in rodents.

Message to Sponsor

Dan lab's main theme --studying neural mechanisms of visual processing and learning-- definitely motivated me and prolonged my interest in neurobiology until today. SURF program will allow me to do comprehensive research this summer, and I will be able to investigate career options as well. I hope to get involved more deeply with this project this summer, advancing our level of knowledge up to the next realm.
  • Major: Integrative Biology
  • Mentor: Yang Dan, Molecular and Cell Biology