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Price Lab research

CollaborationsStudent research projects | Publications

About Dr Nicholas Price

As an undergraduate, Nic completed degrees in Electronic engineering and Physiology at the University of Western Australia. From his exposure to the combination of control theory and information theory in engineering and sensory neuroscience in physiology, he became interested in understanding how sensory information from the environment is represented in the brain and how sensory perception could arise from the co-ordinated activity of populations of neurons. After completing his PhD in 2006 with Professor Michael Ibbotson at the Australian National University, Nic worked as a postdoc with Professor Richard Born at Harvard Medical School until 2009. At the start of 2010, Nic returned to Australia as a Lecturer at Monash University.


Our research

Current projects

  1. Rapid plasticity in sensory systems - linking neuronal adaptation and perception
  2. Interactions within and between cortical areas

Visit Dr Price's Monash research profile to see a full listing of current projects.

Research activities

Our aim is to understand the neuronal mechanisms underlying perception. We focus on visual motion perception, because it is relatively simple to present precisely controlled moving stimuli to a subject. We correlate the subject's perceptual reports, or the responses of single neurons in visual cortex, with the presented stimulus. This gives us insights into the neuronal mechanisms that underlie the encoding of a visual stimulus, and decoding of sensory activity to generate perception or behaviour. We are particularly interested in two main questions:

  1. How does the context within which we see a visual stimulus affect the way that stimulus is encoded by neurons and perceived?
  2. How are features of the visual world such as orientation motion and texture represented by the activity of populations of neurons?

We have developed techniques for simultaneously recording from 96+ channels in 2 or more brain areas. This allows us to examine how neurons in one brain area represent visual stimulus properties, and how those representations are transformed between areas (see image below)

Simultaneous multi-area electrophysiology.

We use machine learning methods to decode the activity of populations of neurons and predict what visual stimuli were being viewed.

Decoding brain activity

Techniques/expertise

We employ a range of techniques including:

  • human psychophysics
  • animal psychophysics
  • extracellular recordings from single and multiple neurons
  • eye tracking during smooth pursuit, ocular following and saccades
  • computational modelling

Collaborations

We collaborate with many scientists and research organisations around the world. Click on the map to see the details for each of these collaborators (dive into specific publications and outputs by clicking on the dots).


Student research projects

The Price Lab offers a variety of Honours, Masters and PhD projects for students interested in joining our group. There are also a number of short term research opportunities available.

Please visit Supervisor Connect to explore the projects currently available in our Lab.