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Stephanie Palmer

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentOrganismal Biology and Anatomy
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    I study how populations of neurons collectively encode information present in their inputs and how they perform computations on these signals. The brain performs several classes of computation including signal comparison, prediction, error correction, and learning. To investigate these phenomena, I work with experimentalists on a variety of systems: predictive coding in the retina and visual cortex of the rodent, motion coding in area MT, and temporal coding in the zebra finch song system. From these studies, several general principles have emerged, which guide my current research: the hypothesis that neurons are optimized to predict their future inputs, that information in neural populations is represented combinatorially, and that coding in sensori-motor systems is highly dynamic and behaviorally dependent. By working closely with experimentalists, we constrain and test these theories of neural population coding with detailed measurements.

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MIBS05/1997Chemical Physics
    University of Oxford, England, UKDPhil04/2001Theoretical Physics
    University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CAPostdoctoral09/2005Neuroscience
    Princeton University, Princeton, NJPostdoctoral03/2012Neuroscience

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Paukner D, Wildenberg GA, Badalamente GS, Littlewood PB, Kronforst MR, Palmer SE, Kasthuri N. Synchrotron-source micro-x-ray computed tomography for examining butterfly eyes. Ecol Evol. 2024 Apr; 14(4):e11137. PMID: 38571794; PMCID: PMC10985371.
    2. Hoshal BD, Holmes CM, Bojanek K, Salisbury J, Berry MJ, Marre O, Palmer SE. Stimulus invariant aspects of the retinal code drive discriminability of natural scenes. bioRxiv. 2023 Aug 12. PMID: 37609259; PMCID: PMC10441377.
    3. Wang S, Hoshal B, de Laittre EA, Marre O, Berry MJ, Palmer SE. Learning low-dimensional generalizable natural features from retina using a U-net. Adv Neural Inf Process Syst. 2022 Dec; 35:11355-11368. PMID: 37362058; PMCID: PMC10289798.
    4. Kline AG, Palmer SE. Gaussian Information Bottleneck and the Non-Perturbative Renormalization Group. New J Phys. 2022 Mar; 24(3). PMID: 35368649; PMCID: PMC8967309.
      Citations: 2     
    5. Ding J, Chen A, Chung J, Acaron Ledesma H, Wu M, Berson DM, Palmer SE, Wei W. Spatially displaced excitation contributes to the encoding of interrupted motion by a retinal direction-selective circuit. Elife. 2021 06 07; 10. PMID: 34096504; PMCID: PMC8211448.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    6. Wang S, Segev I, Borst A, Palmer S. Maximally efficient prediction in the early fly visual system may support evasive flight maneuvers. PLoS Comput Biol. 2021 05; 17(5):e1008965. PMID: 34014926; PMCID: PMC8136689.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    7. Sachdeva V, Palmer SE, Mora T, Walczak AM. Optimal prediction with resource constraints using the information bottleneck. PLoS Comput Biol. 2021 03; 17(3):e1008743. PMID: 33684112; PMCID: PMC7971903.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    
    8. Palmer SE, Wright BD, Doupe AJ, Kao MH. Variable but not random: temporal pattern coding in a songbird brain area necessary for song modification. J Neurophysiol. 2021 02 01; 125(2):540-555. PMID: 33296616; PMCID: PMC7948135.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    9. Stern M, Arinze C, Perez L, Palmer SE, Murugan A. Supervised learning through physical changes in a mechanical system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 06 30; 117(26):14843-14850. PMID: 32546522; PMCID: PMC7334525.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    
    10. Johnston WJ, Palmer SE, Freedman DJ. Nonlinear mixed selectivity supports reliable neural computation. PLoS Comput Biol. 2020 02; 16(2):e1007544. PMID: 32069273; PMCID: PMC7048320.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    11. Westerman EL, VanKuren NW, Massardo D, Tenger-Trolander A, Zhang W, Hill RI, Perry M, Bayala E, Barr K, Chamberlain N, Douglas TE, Buerkle N, Palmer SE, Kronforst MR. Aristaless Controls Butterfly Wing Color Variation Used in Mimicry and Mate Choice. Curr Biol. 2018 11 05; 28(21):3469-3474.e4. PMID: 30415702; PMCID: PMC6234856.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    12. Lombardo JA, Macellaio MV, Liu B, Palmer SE, Osborne LC. State dependence of stimulus-induced variability tuning in macaque MT. PLoS Comput Biol. 2018 10; 14(10):e1006527. PMID: 30312315; PMCID: PMC6211771.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    13. Sederberg AJ, MacLean JN, Palmer SE. Learning to make external sensory stimulus predictions using internal correlations in populations of neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 01 30; 115(5):1105-1110. PMID: 29348208; PMCID: PMC5798322.
      Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    14. Zhang W, Westerman E, Nitzany E, Palmer S, Kronforst MR. Tracing the origin and evolution of supergene mimicry in butterflies. Nat Commun. 2017 11 07; 8(1):1269. PMID: 29116078; PMCID: PMC5677128.
      Citations: 20     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    15. Nitzany EI, Loe ME, Palmer SE, Victor JD. Perceptual interaction of local motion signals. J Vis. 2016 11 01; 16(14):22. PMID: 27902829; PMCID: PMC5132080.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Sederberg AJ, Palmer SE, MacLean JN. Decoding thalamic afferent input using microcircuit spiking activity. J Neurophysiol. 2015 Apr 01; 113(7):2921-33. PMID: 25695647; PMCID: PMC4416628.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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