Date of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Neuroscience

First Advisor

Michael J. Kahana

Abstract

My work examines how the brain acquires, stores, and retrieves information. I first present a theoretical model of the retina, and use the model to explore how the design of sensory systems affects our ability to make inferences about the physical world. I next present three analyses of electrocorticographic recordings taken as human neurosurgical patients participated in experimental cognitive tasks. In the first analysis, I measure the relation between single-neuron spiking and local field potentials, which reflect the aggregate activity of large populations of neurons. In the second analysis, I ask how the brain represents the meanings of individual words as they are studied and remembered. In the third electrocorticographic analysis, I address the question of how our brains retrieve memories of past experiences.

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