Oliver
Oliver is a postdoctoral researcher in the Perception and Action Lab. His research focuses on two main thrusts: conducting virtual reality psychophysical experiments to better understand how humans use vision to navigate in complex, dynamic environments, and developing computational neural models to better understand the underlying brain mechanisms. As an undergraduate at Skidmore College, Oliver envisioned a quantitative approach to studying the brain that transcended the traditionally separated disciplines. He graduated in 2009 with an interdisciplinary major he created under the supervision of his advisor Flip Phillips called ‘Computational Neuroscience’ that uniquely synthesized physiological, mathematical, and psychological knowledge to address how the brain controls behavior. Oliver received his Ph.D. in 2013 from the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University, where he received training in the large-scale neural network modeling. Under the supervision of Ennio Mingolla, Andrew Browning, and Arash Yazdanbakhsh, Oliver’s doctoral research at BU focused on detailed modeling work of the mammalian vision system in the context of processing optic flow, visually guided navigation, and figure-ground segregation. Oliver’s approach to modeling uniquely addresses how the brain dynamically adapts to a changing world. Oliver’s current work in the Perception and Action Lab reciprocally combines psychophysical experiments and computational modeling of the primate visual system to understand how the brain affords robust, real-time navigation through environments containing stationary and moving objects and variations in terrain.
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