Who I am: I have been at Imperial College since 2004, as head of the Neural Coding Laboratory in the Department of Bioengineering. My first degrees were in Electrical & Computer Systems Engineering, and Physics, from Monash University in Australia. I obtained my D.Phil. in the area of computational neuroscience, under Prof Edmund Rolls at Oxford. I then undertook postdoctoral research in experimental neuroscience at New York University (with Tony Movshon) and University College London (with Michael Häusser).
Research Interests: My main interest is in "reverse engineering" the information processing architecture of the brain. Specifically, I investigate the basic principles of information processing in cortical circuits. I take an "engineering approach" which involves both doing experiments (in mice), together with theoretical work to help us understand the data from these experiments. On the experimental side, we use two-photon microscopy, optogenetics and electrophysiology to measure (and perturb) patterns of neuronal activity in vivo. On the theoretical side, we develop new algorithms for analysing the resulting data (particularly making use of Information Theory), and develop models to help us interpret it.
I believe that understanding the functional principles of cortical circuits is crucial to understanding, and treating, the effects of brain disorders. I am particularly interested in changes in cortical circuit properties during dementias such as Alzheimer's Disease, and have recently launched a project in my laboratory focussed on this.
You can read more at my Lab Web Page.
Simon’s research publications can be found at the tab above, or on Google Scholar
et al., 2017, ABLE: an Activity-Based Level Set Segmentation Algorithm for Two-Photon Calcium Imaging Data, Eneuro, Vol:4, ISSN:2373-2822
et al., 2017, Robotic automation of in vivo two photon targeted whole-cell patch clamp electrophysiology, Neuron, Vol:95, ISSN:0896-6273, Pages:1048-1055.e3
et al., 2016, Advances in two-photon scanning and scanless microscopy technologies for functional neural circuit imaging, Proceedings of the IEEE, Vol:105, ISSN:0018-9219, Pages:139-157
et al., 2016, Visual receptive field properties of neurons in the mouse lateral geniculate nucleus, PLOS One, Vol:11, ISSN:1932-6203
Oñativia J, Schultz S, Dragotti PL, 2013, A finite rate of innovation algorithm for fast and accurate spike detection from two-photon calcium imaging, Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol:10
et al., 2013, The spatial pattern of light determines the kinetics and modulates backpropagation of optogenetic action potentials, Journal of Computational Neuroscience, Vol:34, ISSN:0929-5313, Pages:477-488
et al., 2009, Spatial Pattern Coding of Sensory Information by Climbing Fiber-Evoked Calcium Signals in Networks of Neighboring Cerebellar Purkinje Cells, Journal of Neuroscience, Vol:29, ISSN:0270-6474, Pages:8005-8015