A Brown University Research Group

Understanding the neural computations supporting visual perception

Our long-term goal is to understand the neural computations supporting visual perception. There is little doubt that even a partial solution to the question of which computations are carried out by the visual cortex would be a major breakthrough: It would begin to explain one of our most amazing abilities, vision; and it would open doors to other aspects of intelligence such as language, planning or reasoning. It would also help connect neurobiology and mathematics, making it possible to develop computer algorithms that follow the information processing principles used by biological organisms and honed by natural evolution.

We are proud members of the Carney Institute for Brain Science and the Center for Computational Brain Science at Brown! We also work in close collaboration with and leverage resources from the Center for Computation and Visualization.

Prospective students

The lab is actively recruiting! Brown students interested in conducting research in the lab are encouraged to email Prof. Serre’s with a copy of their course transcripts and CV. Expectations are that students would have taken an intro to CS sequence, at least one course in machine learning, computer vision and/or deep learning. Prospective Ph.D. students can find information about our graduate programs here. Prospective postdoc applicants should email Prof. Serre directly.


Our work is currently supported by ONR (N00014-19-1-2029), NSF (IIS-1912280 and EAR-1925481), DARPA (D19AC00015), NIH/NINDS (R21 NS 112743), and the ANR-3IA Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute (ANR-19-PI3A-0004).

Additional support provided by the Carney Institute for Brain Science, the Center for Vision Research (CVR) and the Center for Computation and Visualization (CCV). We acknowledge the Cloud TPU hardware resources that Google made available via the TensorFlow Research Cloud (TFRC) program as well as computing hardware supported by NIH Office of the Director grant S10OD025181.

Previous work funded by NSF (early career award IIS-1252951), DARPA (young faculty award and director’s award N66001-14-1-4037 and N10AP20013), NIGMS/Advance-CTR (U54GM115677, NIH (R21 MH 113870-01), the Human Frontier Science Program (RGP0006/2015), ONR (N000141110743),  and the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Fund for Scientific Innovation.