Fourier analysis says that complex patterns can be created by adding up a large number of patterns as simple as sinusoidal waves. To make the idea more concrete, I like to use the following analogy in teaching: Imagine that you lived in the early 19th century. If you wanted to listen to a symphony, the only way to make it happen was to hire a few dozen highly-trained musicians to perform it for you.Read more
Demonstrations: The reconstruction of Mona Lisa video. A blog post I wrote about the Fourier transform trick. Youtube video: Nobel laureates David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel recording neurons in cat’s V1. Suggested readings: Fourier transform An introduction to two-dimensional fast Fourier transforms and their applications by Rzeszotarski et al. (1983). Fourier transforms and frequency-domain processing (Chapter 5 of Fundamentals of Digital Image Processing: A Practical Approach with Examples in Matlab by Solomon & Breckon, 2011) Suggested readings: programming See this web page from UCSB.Read more
Central disorders of vision in humans by Girkin & Miller (2001): a review of what happens if different parts of the visual cortex are damaged. “Superimposed hemifields in primary visual cortex of achiasmic individuals” by Sinha & Meng (2012, Neuron 75): Newton vs. Descartes on the organization of the optic chiasm. Youtube video demonstrating how Hubel & Wiesel mapped V1 receptive fields.
Animal Eyes by Land & Nilsson is a very nice little book about the fascinating variety of eye structures found in nature. Youtube video about the “connectome” of the retina
General Is the human cortex exceptionally large? See Herculano-Houzel (2009) The human brain in numbers: a linearly scaled-up primate brain. Frontiers in Neuroscience 3, e31. [Tenor sings opera during craniotomy](Tenor sings opera during craniotomy): I just think this is quite fascinating. “Language areas” The history of Broca’s area: Dronkers et al. (2007) Neuroimaging of Language: Why hasn’t a clear picture emerged? Fedorenko & Kanwisher (2009) Language and Linguistics Compass 3, 10.Read more