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Farran Briggs, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 276-3736

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments

  • Associate Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)
  • Associate Professor - Department of Brain/Cognitive Sciences RC (RC) - Joint
  • Associate Professor - Department of Center for Visual Science A&S (RC) - Joint

Biography

Research

Critical to our comprehension of the brain is an understanding of how neuronal circuits, or the connections between neurons in the brain, underlie perception and behavior. The goals of the laboratory are to understand how neuronal circuits in the early visual system encode and process visual information and how spatial attention modulates these activities. There are two main projects that are currently underway in the laboratory. The first aims at understanding the mechanism by which visual attention modulates the activity of neurons and circuits in the early visual pathways. We have recently shown that attentional modulation of neurons in the primary visual cortex depends critically on the match between the feature selectivity of individual neurons and the features required for successful task completion. We continue to explore the mechanisms of attention at the granular and circuit level in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of visual attention. The second project in the lab is designed to elucidate the functional role of the corticogeniculate feedback circuit in visual perception. We have shown that corticogeniculate neurons connecting primary visual cortex with the visual thalamus in the feedback direction are morphologically and physiologically diverse. Recently, we utilized an innovative combination of virus-mediated gene delivery and optogenetic techniques to show that corticogeniculate feedback controls the timing and precision of thalamic responses to incoming visual information. Ongoing experiments will further define how corticogeniculate feedback regulates the flow of information about distinct visual features in the environment.

Credentials

Education

1997
BA | Dartmouth College
Biology

2003
PhD | University of California, San Diego
Biology

Publications

Journal Articles

10/1/2018
Mock VL, Luke KL, Hembrook-Short JR, Briggs F. "Dynamic communication of attention signals between the LGN and V1." Journal of neurophysiology.. 2018 Oct 1; 120(4):1625-1639. Epub 2018 Jul 05.

4/17/2018
Hasse JM, Bragg EM, Murphy AJ, Briggs F. "Morphological heterogeneity among corticogeniculate neurons in ferrets: quantification and comparison with a previous report in macaque monkeys." The Journal of comparative neurology.. 2018 Apr 17; Epub 2018 Apr 17.

7/25/2017
Hasse JM, Briggs F. "Corticogeniculate feedback sharpens the temporal precision and spatial resolution of visual signals in the ferret." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.. 2017 Jul 25; 114(30):E6222-E6230. Epub 2017 Jul 11.

Books & Chapters

2017
Chapter Title: Mammalian visual system organization
Book Title: The Oxford Encyclopedia of Neuroscience
Author List: Farran Briggs
Edited By: W.M. Usrey and S.M. Sherman
Published By: Oxford University Press 2017 in Oxford

2014
Chapter Title: Functional properties of cortical feedback to the primate lateral geniculate nucleus
Book Title: The New Visual Neurosciences
Author List: Farran Briggs and W. Martin Usrey
Published By: MIT Press 2014 in Cambridge

2008
Chapter Title: Visual system structure
Book Title: Encyclopedia of Perception
Author List: Farran Briggs and W. Martin Usrey
Edited By: B. Goldstein
Published By: Sage Press 2008

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