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Joel Zylberberg

As you read this sentence, your eyes are sending signals to your brain, and your brain is interpreting those signals to decipher words. Research in Joel Zylberberg’s laboratory identifies the language of this signaling. For example, what patterns of nerve impulses correspond to an “a” or an “e”? By understanding this “neural code”, Zylberberg’s work leads to computer algorithms that mimic the mammalian visual system, and to implantable devices that stimulate a blind person’s brain, to restore their ability to see.

In parallel with his work on visual signal processing, Zylberberg has on-going projects that will develop better cochlear implants, decipher the olfactory neural code, and elucidate the role of synaptic plasticity in the maintenance of short-term memory networks.


Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) International Student Research Fellowship, 2011.

Fulbright Science and Technology Ph.D. Fellowship, 2008.

Relevant Publications

J. Zylberberg* et al., "Direction-selective circuits shape noise to ensure a precise population code," Neuron 89: 369 -383, 2016.

P. King, J. Zylberberg, and M.R. DeWeese,." Inhibitory interneurons decorrelate excitatory cells to drive sparse code formation in a spiking model of V1," Journal of Neuroscience 33: 5475 -5485, 2013.

J. Zylberberg, J. Murphy, and M.R. DeWeese, "A sparse coding model with synaptically local plasticity and spiking neurons can account for the diverse shapes of V1 simple cell receptive fields," PLoS Computational Biology 7: e1002250, 2011.



CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Learning in Machines & Brains


University of Colorado DenverDepartment of Physiology and Biophysics


PhD (Physics) University of California at Berkeley

BSc (Physics) Simon Fraser University


United States

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