Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D.

Title
Professor
Department
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
Institution
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Address
6431 Fannin Street, Suite 7.166
City, State, Zip
Houston, TX 77030
Phone
(713) 500-5710
E-mail
valentin.dragoi[at]uth.tmc.edu
Website
http://nba.uth.tmc.edu/homepage/dragoi/
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2004

Research

Our research goal is to understand how internal representations of incoming stimuli are updated as we acquire new information: How do individual neurons and networks in the visual cortex encode image features that vary dynamically between eye movements, and how does this encoding relate to visual behavior? To achieve this goal, we employ techniques that allow us to record simultaneously the activity of multiple neurons in the visual cortex of alert monkeys during specific behavioral tasks, in combination with human psychophysics and computational models of neural network function. Specific questions of interest in our laboratory are: How do rapid changes in the structure of images caused by eye movements influence how images are coded in the visual cortex? What is the relationship between feature encoding in early cortical areas (e.g., primary visual cortex), object encoding in higher cortical areas (e.g., inferotemporal cortex), and object perception? How do changes in the internal state of cortical networks (e.g., induced by behavioral or perceptual context) influence neural coding in visual cortex and the corresponding behavioral performance?