Institute of Neuroinformatics

Spring Semester 2023

Computation in Neural Systems:

Biological and Computational Vision

Thursdays 17.15 h to 19.00 h

(See plan here)

The course starts on Thursday, February 23, 2023 Room Y35-F-32
The lectures will be recorded and the recordings posted here.

A couple of important dates:

Exam review (Prüfungseinsicht):  Tuesday 20.6, 2-4pm, room Y17-L-03

Repetition exam: Thursday 22.6, 5.15pm, room Y17-L-05


Organizers: Prof. Daniel Kiper
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. This is not
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.

Exam: The exam is a multiple choice exam, and will take place on June 1, 2023, at 5.15 pm, in room Y35-F-32 (i.e. the usual place and time). It lasts 60 minutes and is NOT open book.

The syllabus will be  adjusted depending on progress

23.2 Introduction and overview: here are the slides.
Here is the recording.

2.3 No class.
Mandatory reading here!

9.3. End of introduction, same slides as week 1.
Here is the recording.

16.3 The lecture takes place as usual on the campus !!! (unlike what I said in class)
Here are the slides (exercises will follow)
Here is the recording.

This lecture will be via Zoom, here is the link.
And here is the recording
And here the first exercises. Answers will be given this week in class.
And here a mandatory reading about linear systems.

30.3 LGN and V1 (start).
Here are the slides.
Here is the recording.

6.4 and 13.4 No lecture (Easter break).
Mandatory reading: Hubel and Wiesel 1968

20.4 Simple, complex and hypercomplex cells.
Due to illness, this lecture takes place only via zoom. Here is the zoom link.
Here are the slides (most are already included in the presentation started on 30.3)
Here is the recording

27.4 End of V1 architecture
Exercise: read this paper on surround suppression

4.5 End of V1 architecture, color vision.
Here are the new slides.
Here is the recording.

11.5 End of color vision, depth perception
Exercise: read the first pages of this paper (introduction and methods, up to page 247).
Here is the recording.

18.5 No class (Ascension)
Mandatory exercise: answer these questions (they are taken from previous exams and give you an idea for this year's exam as well).
Here is the version with correct answers.

25.5 Motion and Q&A session
Here is the recording.