Rosenberg Lab’s Lillian Li Receives McPherson ERI-Sponsored Hilldale Undergraduate Award

Lillian Li

Congratulations to Lillian Li from Dr. Ari Rosenberg‘s lab in the Department of Neuroscience! Lillian was awarded the 2022 McPherson Eye Research Institute-Sponsored Hilldale Undergraduate Award for her proposal, “Biologically Inspired Convolutional Neural Networks for 3D Visual Processing.”

Abstract: Our eyes sense two-dimensional (2D) projections of the environment, like a movie on a screen, yet we perceive the world as three-dimensional (3D). To successfully interact with objects in our dynamic environment, the visual system needs to reconstruct 3D representations from these 2D retinal projections. However, the neuronal computations underlying this process remain relatively unknown. To investigate these computations, I propose the development of a biologically inspired convolutional neural network (CNN) that can perform various 3D visual discrimination tasks. I will then compare the performance and activity of artificial neurons from the network with behavioral and neuronal data previously collected from non-human primates that performed the same tasks. By combining our current knowledge of the visual system with recent advances in CNNs, this project aims to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms that transform 2D retinal images into accurate and precise 3D representations.

The Hilldale Undergraduate/Faculty Research Fellowship provides research training and support to undergraduates. Students have the opportunity to undertake their own research project in collaboration with UW–Madison faculty or research/instructional academic staff.

The McPherson Eye Research Institute sponsors one Hilldale Fellowship for vision-based research (including bioengineering, imaging, data visualization, cognitive psychology, ophthalmology, and general biology of the eye) each year.

Great job, Lillian!