Torsten Nils Wiesel

Exploration of the Visual Cortex


Abstract

A scientist is an explorer, a curious person looking for “things” of possible interest, often fumbling in the dark. I spent 40 years in the laboratory exploring aspects of the neural basis of visual perception. This work was carried out during two most fruitful and enjoyable collaborations, first with David Hubel and then with Charles Gilbert.

The eye can be compared to a camera with images projecting onto a plate of photoreceptors. But it is neural circuits in the retina and brain that transform these raw images into perceptions, enabling us to “see” the world’s forms in detail, color and depth.

The lecture will be an attempt to convey the intuitive spirit that guided our explorations of the function and organization of visual neurons, and our deep sense of wonder at the beauty and elegance of the processes by which the eye and brain capture the visual world.


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