W. Martin Usrey

Professor

PhD

(530)754-5468
wmusrey@ucdavis.edu

The long-term goal of the Usrey laboratory is to understand the functional properties of neural circuits that serve vision and the relationship between circuit activity, behavior and perception. Current research projects are focused on determining (1) how sensory information is processed and transmitted within and between brain areas, (2) the cellular and circuit mechanisms that mediate the effects of spatial attention on visual processing, (3) the role of feedback pathways for vision, (4) the relationship between neural activity and visual perception, and (5) the molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms that establish parallel processing streams in the prenatal retina. Using an arsenal of techniques that includes whole-cell and multielectrode recordings from the isolated retina along with molecular phenotyping of identified cells, single and multielectrode recordings, optogenetic manipulation of neuronal activity, and fMRI, we are discovering how sensory information is established and encoded in brain activity, as well as the mechanisms employed by the brain for communicating information dynamically from one level to the next. The Usrey laboratory is also home to Brainmaps.org, an interactive, high-resolution digital brain atlas and virtual microscope for students, educators, and researchers.

Our research is funded by the NIH, the NSF, the McKnight Foundation, the Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Teaching Interests: Systems Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Vision, Neuroanatomy, Human Physiology. Courses Taught: NSC 201 Neuroanatomy - Term(s): Fall NSC 222 Systems Neuroscience - Term(s): Winter NPB 101 Human Physiology - Term(s): Winter NSC 261B Visual Neuroscience - Term(s): Winter

Selected Publications: 

(Selected from 63 publications)

Briggs F, Mangun GR, and Usrey WM. (2013) Attention Enhances Synaptic Efficacy and Signal-to-Noise in Neural Circuits. Nature 499:476-480.

Bastos AM, Usrey WM, Adams RA, Mangun GR, Fires P, and Friston KJ. (2012) Cononical microcircuits for predictive coding. Neuron 76:695-711.

Reid RC, and Usrey WM. (2012) Vision. In: Fundamental Neuroscience, 4th Edition. Eds, Squire LR, Roberts JL, Spitzer NC, Zigmond MJ, McConnell SK, Bloom FE. Academic Press. San Diego.

Moore BD, Kiley CW, Sun C, and Usrey WM. (2011) Rapid plasticity of visual responses in the adult lateral geniculate nucleus. Neuron 71:812-819.

Briggs F, and Usrey WM. (2011) Distinct mechanisms for size tuning in primate visual cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 31:12644-12649.

Lankow BS, and Usrey WM. (2011) Visual processing in the monkey. In: Monkeys: Biology, Behavior and Disorders. RM Williams (Ed). pp 181-197.Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Briggs F, and Usrey WM. (2011) Corticogeniculate feedback and parallel processing in the primate visual system. Journal of Physiology 589:33-40.

Alitto HJ, Moore BD, Rathbun DL, and Usrey WM. (2011) A comparison of visual responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus of alert and anesthetized macaque monkeys. Journal of Physiology 589:87-99.

Rathbun DL, Warland DK, and Usrey WM. (2010) Spike timing and information transmission at retinogeniculate synapses. Journal of Neuroscience 30:13558-13566

Briggs F, and Usrey WM. (2009) Parallel processing in the corticogeniculate pathay. Neuron 62:135-146.

Other Affiliations: 

Center for Neuroscience Neuroscience

Current Students: 
154 156 157 103 109 359
Postdocs and Research Personnel: 
Katie Neverkovec, Deborah van der List, Jim Stone, Dan Sperka, Jeff Johnson
Former Personnel: 
Andre Bastos (PhD 2013), Postdoc at MIT Bart Moore (PhD 2010), Postdoc at UT Houston Daniel Rathbun (PhD 2009), Postdoc at University of Tubingen Corey Ziemba (BS 2008), Graduate Student New York University Henry Alitto (PhD 2007), Research Scientist, UC Davis Michael Sceniak, PhD (Postdoc 2002), Case Western University
Staff Members: 
230 231 258

Current Students

Name Phone Email
Andre Bastos abastos@ucdavis.edu
Caitlin Kiley cwkiley@ucdavis.edu
Benjamin Lankow bslankow@ucdavis.edu
Darlene Archer darcher@ucdavis.edu

Postdocs and Research Personnel

Name Current Position Title Phone Email
Katie Neverkovec, Deborah van der List, Jim Stone, Dan Sperka, Jeff Johnson

Former Personnel

Name Position
Andre Bastos (PhD 2013), Postdoc at MIT
Bart Moore (PhD 2010), Postdoc at UT Houston
Daniel Rathbun (PhD 2009), Postdoc at University of Tubingen
Corey Ziemba (BS 2008), Graduate Student New York University
Henry Alitto (PhD 2007), Research Scientist, UC Davis
Michael Sceniak, PhD (Postdoc 2002), Case Western University

Staff Members

Name Title Phone Email
Katie Neverkovec Lab Manager (530)754-5082 keneverkovec@ucdavis.edu
Dan Sperka Computer Specialist (530)754-5081 djsperka@ucdavis.edu