Susmita Chatterjee

PhD Student

Phone: (213) 821-2070
Fax: (213) 821-2070
E-mail: susmitac@usc.edu

Background

Susmita Chatterjee received her Bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, India in 2002. She is working towards her PhD degree from University Of Southern California in the Biomedical Engineering Department.

Research

Neighboring retinal ganglion cells often spike synchronously, but the possible function and mechanism of this synchrony is unclear. Various theories have attributed functional significance to spike synchrony.Some literature shows that correlated spikes in the retina carry fine-grained spatial information. Some shows that de-synchronization of responses between On DS ganglion cells for stimuli moving in the null direction could be used by higher visual centers as a possible code for motion direction. Recently, the strength of the fast correlation between On-Off directionally selective cells of the rabbit retina was shown to be stimulus dependent.

My study involves investigating the different properties of stimulus-dependent correlation among multiple ganglion-cell classes, using multi-electrode recordings.Do all classes of ganglion cells exhibit synchrony for long edges but not for full-field stimulation, despite that latter producing as much response as the former?Is motion necessary for synchrony, i.e., can it occur with static flashes of bars.Does certain kind of stimulus cause an enhancement of correlation while others cause correlation to be suppressed !I am interested to know if low contrast synchrony occurs in the retina? Investigating the purposeful control of correlation could add evidence for retinal synchrony playing a functional role in vision