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UCL Ear Institute

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Dr Nicholas Lesica

Dr Nicholas Lesica

Senior Lecturer

The Ear Institute

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2010

Research summary

The brain is flooded with information about the outside world from its sensory receptors, and one of the fundamental goals of neuroscience is to understand exactly how this information is filtered and represented in the activity of sensory systems. Cracking this ‘neural code’ is essential for understanding how the brain makes decisions and governs behavior, as well as for developing clinical strategies to replace brain function lost to trauma or disease.

The classical approach to investigating the neural code is to measure the activity of one neuron at a time. In my research group, we take advantage of recent advances in technology to study the activity of many neurons at the same time. With the data collected in these experiments, and methods that we and others have developed to analyze it, we can hopefully progress beyond our understanding of the brain as a collection of individual neurons toward an understanding of the brain as a complex network of interconnected populations.

For more detailed information about our research, please visit our lab homepage:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ear/research/lesicalab

Teaching summary

Lecturer on PHOL3006 Cellular Basis of Brain Function

Education

Harvard University
PhD, Engineering Science | 2005
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS, Computer Science | 2000

Biography

During my studies in electrical engineering, I learned how to analyze the processing of signals and the flow of information in complex systems. When I began to take an interest in neuroscience, I found the signal and information processing framework to be a very natural one in which to study the function of sensory systems. In the years since, I have trained in the experimental methods required to study sensory systems, in particular, the mammalian auditory system. My hope is that combining analytical and experimental approaches will facilitate the discovery of the basic principles that underlie the representation of sensory information in the brain.

Publications