Adaptation: Theory, Behavior and Neural Systems


001 (68145)

University of Minnesota, Spring Semester, 2010

Dan Kersten (
Vikranth Rao

Guest Instructors:

Steven Engel
Shawn Green
Sheng He
Chad Marsolek
Paul Schrater

Adaptability is a fundamental aspect of behavior and of neural systems. Vision, for example, rapidly adapts to light level, color, contrast, orientation, blur, size, and motion. Sensorimotor behavior rapidly recalibrates for changing task requirements. Human perception also adapts to higher-level properties--even the appearance of a familiar face can change depending on the shapes of faces just seen. Further, the various adaptive processes cover a range of time scales, and mechanisms. Perceptual learning, for example, can involve much training, be highly specific to the training, and last weeks and longer. This seminar will take a bottom-up approach, first focusing on adaptation in early vision, and then moving on to perceptual learning, and higher-level processing. We will look carefully at what is known about early neural coding of image information, and how those codes might change with experience. What determines the specificity of adaptation and learning? How are neural and perceptual resources allocated? Are there common computational principles that apply across a range of behaviors, neural mechanisms, and time scales?

Meeting time : 3:00 to 4:30 Tuesdays.
(First meeting is Tuesday Jan 19th, 2010.)
Place: Elliott S204.

Format: Discussion of journal articles led by seminar members. Students will prepare a final term paper or computer project on a related topic.

Tentative Schedule

Discussion leaders
Jan 19 Introductions    
Jan 26 Background

Blakemore and Campbell (1969)
Schwartz, O., Hsu, A., & Dayan, P. (2007)

Feb 2 Natural image coding

Simoncelli, E. P., & Olshausen, B. A. (2001)
Wainwright, M. J. (1999)


Feb 9 Contrast

Greenlee, M. W., et al. (1991)
Wark, B., Fairhall, A., & Rieke, F. (2009)


Feb 16 Neural representations I.

Kohn, A. (2007)
Bonin, V., Mante, V., & Carandini, M. (2006)


Feb 23 Neural representations II. Series. P, Latham, P. and Pouget, A. (2004)
Seriès P, A A Stocker, and E P Simoncelli (2009)

Mar 2 Contingent adaptation

Barlow, H. B., & Foldiak, P. (1989)
Vul, E., Krizay, E., & MacLeod, D. I. (2008).

Mar 9 Attraction and repulsion

Clifford, C. W. (2002)
Stocker A A and E P Simoncelli (2006)

Mar 23

Higher-level adaptation I.

Leopold, D. A., et al. (2001)
Rhodes et al. (2003)

Mar 30 Higher-level adaptation II.

Webster, et al. (2004)
Adams et al. (2001)

Apr 6 Sensorimotor adaptation I.

Kording, K. P., & Wolpert, D. M. (2004)
Burge, J., Ernst, M. O., & Banks, M. S. (2008)

Apr 13 Sensorimotor adaptation II./Optimal resource allocation

Kording, K. P., Tenenbaum, J. B., & Shadmehr, R. (2007)
Gepshtein, S., Tyukin, I., & Kubovy, M. (2007)

Apr 20 Sensorimotor adaptation II./Adaptation and invariance Li, N., & DiCarlo, J. J. (2008)
Haith et al. (2008)

Apr 27 Instructor-led discussions:

Solomon, 1980)
(Supplement: Koob and Le Moal (1997)

Zhang et al. (2009)

May 4

Instructor-led discussions:
Priming & adaptation

Marsolek (2008)





Bibliography of Relevant Literature

Theory and Background

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Neurobiology and Imaging

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