Raunak Sinha, PhD

Credentials: Department of Neuroscience
School of Medicine and Public Health

Position title: Assistant Professor, David and Nancy Walsh Family Professorship in Vision Research

Email: raunak.sinha@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-6265

5505 WIMR
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705

Keywords: Fovea, retina, visual processing

B.Sc. 2005, Human Physiology, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India
Ph.D. 2011, Neuroscience, International Max Planck Research School, University of Goettingin, Goettingen, Germany
Postdoc, Neuroscience, University of Washington, Seattle, US

Research Interests:
Our visual experiences – like reading, recognizing faces – are dominated by the fovea, yet we know very little about signaling in the fovea and how it operates at a mechanistic level. One of the fundamental goals of my research is to understand how visual processing in the retina, with an emphasis on primate fovea, is shaped by cellular, synaptic and circuit-based mechanisms to produce behaviorally-relevant visual information. To study the cellular and synaptic mechanisms that shape retinal output in the fovea, Sinha’s lab assesses functional properties of individual neurons in the retina and correlates them to their anatomical properties and connectivity within the retinal circuit. Using such a combinatorial approach, his lab has provided the first glimpse into how the fovea works (at a mechanistic level) and how the computations performed by the fovea are distinct from non-foveal retina. This is the first step in understanding the mechanistic basis of foveal function. Sinha’s lab plans to explore in greater detail how physiological and anatomical specializations of the different circuit elements in the fovea ultimately result in the defining features of our high-acuity foveal vision. This is also important since there is a great deal of effort to restore foveal vision in humans with debilitating deficits such as macular degeneration, but our understanding of the computational structure of the fovea is largely missing.

Sinha Lab