Institute of Neuroinformatics

This page will be modified and updated as the semester progresses

Spring Semester 2018

Computation in Neural Systems:

Biological and Computational Vision

Thursdays 17.15 h to 19.00 h

Location: Y35 F 32

(See plan here)

The course starts on Thursday, February 22, 2018

Organizers: Prof. Daniel Kiper, Prof. Kevan Martin

This interdisciplinary course is open to all students of the University of Zurich and of the ETH Zurich. Typically, our students come from Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Psychology. Whether you intend to take the course for credit or to just sit in it, you do not have to ask permission, everybody is welcome.
Materials. The topics covered in each lecture are summarized in the slides used for each lecture, which are available on this website (in pdf format). The main material for the course is therefore your own notes, taken during the lectures. For some lectures, we have additional text, which is also distributed in class. People who would like to know more about vision may want to look at a book: Wandell, B. (1995) Foundations of Vision. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer. Here is a free access to the book.

Assistance. If you do not understand something, fix an appointment with the lecturer. If you miss a lecture, download the handout and ask a friend to explain to you what is going on. 

Exercises. The exercises will be explained as the semester progresses. Their nature ranges from online experiments to readings of papers.
The exercises are meant to help you evaluate your level of understanding. The correct answers to the exercises will be given in class.


The course's official language is English, but you are free to ask questions in German. You can also speak German during the exam if you prefer.


The exam is a multiple choice written exam that will take place on the last day of the course (May 31, 2018).

The syllabus may be  adjusted depending on progress.

22.2 Intro and visual pathways

1.3: Visual pathways (continued) and
retinal processing.

8.3: Retinal processing continued
Exercise: read this paper.
Optional addtional reading on the retina: retinal anatomy and retinal circuits

15.3 End of retinal processing. LGN and V1 rec. fields.
Here are exercises for this week.

22.3 V1 rec. fields, non-linearities

29.3 and 5.4 Easter break

12.4 V1 non-linearites (same slides as 22.3).
Exercise: read the following chapter on V1.

19.4: Extrastriate cortex (lecture by Sepp Kollmorgen)

26.4: Motion and space-time receptive fields
Exercises here.

3.5. End of motion. Depth perception.
Here is a nice website about the aperture problem (Thanks F. Benzing!)

10.5.2018 No class (Ascension)

17.5.2018 Color vision

23.5.2018 End of color vision. Question time.

31.5.2018 Exan. The exam takes place from 17.15 to 18.15 in the regular course room.
Here is a sample exam.