Dean for Science Lecture 2017 with William Newsome, Ph.D.

Speaker: William Newsome, PhD

Harman Family Provostial Professor, Vincent V. C. WOO Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute,
and Professor of Neurobiology and, by Courtesy, of Psychology

Seeing and deciding: neural mechanisms of perceptual choice

Time: 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Date: Monday, March 6th, 2017
Location: NYU Rosenthal Pavilion 60 Washington Square South, 10th floor New York, NY 10012



Missed the RSVP Deadline? Walk-ins welcome!


Until the late 1980’s, sensory physiology and sensory psychophysics were separate though mutually interested disciplines. Relating brain physiology to perceptual experience – the former typically studied in animal models and the latter in human subjects – seemed a speculative endeavor at best.  A breakthrough occurred when rigorous psychophysical and physiological data were first obtained simultaneously from the same subject – awake, behaving monkeys.  This model system enabled carefully controlled behavioral and neural manipulations that demonstrated circuit level mechanisms underlying visual perception and perceptual decision-making for the first time.  Newsome will trace the evolution our understanding of perceptual decision-making across the subsequent 35 years, closing with a summary of contemporary challenges in the field.