David Cox, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Harvard University
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
52 Oxford Street, Room 219.40
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: 617-872-5395
Fax: (617) 496-5425
Email: davidcox@fas.harvard.edu
Visit my lab page here.

We recognize visual objects with such ease that it is easy to overlook what an impressive computational feat this represents. Any given object in the world can cast an effectively infinite number of different images onto the retina, depending on its position relative to the viewer, the configuration of light sources, and the presence of other objects in the visual field. In spite of this extreme variation, mammalian visual systems are able to effortlessly recognize at least hundreds of thousands of distinct object classes—a feat that no current artificial system can come close to achieving.

My laboratory seeks to understand the biological and computational underpinnings of visual perception through a concerted effort on two fronts. First, we endeavor to understand the circuit-level workings of biological visual systems using a variety of experimental techniques, ranging from microelectrode recordings to visual psychophysics, leveraging rodents as a model system. Second, we attempt to instantiate what we have learned in computational models of cortex, leveraging recent advances in parallel computing to build systems that begin to approach the scale of natural systems. By combining reverse- and forward-engineering approaches, we hope to accelerate progress in both domains.

For a complete listing of publications click here.

Last Update: 10/30/2013