Xin Huang

Position title: Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience


Phone: (608) 265-2744

Xin Huang headshot




Ph.D. in Systems Neuroscience, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

Research Description:

Our laboratory seeks to understand the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception and visually guided behavior. Visual information is represented and processed by a large number of neurons distributed across dozens of brain areas, structured in a hierarchical, recurrent, and parallel manner. Each of these neurons is sensitive to certain features of the visual scene and has a constrained “view” of the world through its receptive field. As information flows deeper into the brain, neural representations transform from pixel-based to object-based, and from sensory to more cognitive and premotor – reflecting the processes of attention, decision-making, and motor planning. 

The research in our laboratory aims to understand the following questions: 1)The neural processes underlying perceptual organization. 2) Transformation of information along the visual hierarchy. 3) Functional roles of massive and widespread feedback connections in the visual system. 4) Neural mechanisms underlying selective attention. 5) The principles and rationale of population neural coding. 6) Neural circuit mechanisms underlying canonical neural computations. To investigate these questions, we use integrated approaches of modern electrophysiology, psychophysics, computation and neural network modeling, and behavioral tasks involving discrimination, attention, and decision-making. We are also developing and applying calcium imaging and optogenetic methods for circuit interrogation and manipulation. 

Research Key Words:

Vision, Perception, Attention, Behavior, Systems and Computational Neuroscience, Neural Circuits

Diversity Statement:

All students, teachers, and staff should be able to conduct research, learn, teach, and interact with each other without having to experience discrimination. My laboratory provides an inclusive, equal, supportive, and scientifically stimulating environment for all lab members to develop into skillful, confident, and independent scientists, regardless of their background.

Link to Publications