Raunak Sinha

Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Email: raunak.sinha@wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-6265

Address:
5505 WIMR
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705

Education:

Calcutta University, Kolkata, India, B.Sc., June 2005, Human Physiology

International Max Planck Research School, University of Goettingin, Goettingen, Germany, Ph.D., May 2011, Neuroscience

University of Washington, Seattle, US, Postdoc, Neuroscience

Research:

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, I will assess functional properties of individual neurons in the retina and correlate them to their anatomical properties and connectivity within the retinal circuit. Using such a combinatorial approach my research has provided the first glimpse into how the fovea works (at a mechanistic detail) 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 and in future, I plan 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.