New paper: The Sparse Manifold Transform (to appear in NIPS 2018)
September 7, 2018

Yubei Chen, Dylan Paiton, and Bruno Olshausen describe how sparse coding and manifold learning are connected, leading to a new unsupervised learning algorithm for simultaneously capturing sparse features and low-dimensional transformations of data.

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Alex Anderson graduates
May 22, 2018

PhD thesis shows how cortical neurons can simultaneously estimate form and motion from drifting retinal images, providing a first account for why, and how, visual acuity improves with eye movement.

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Neha Wadia wins Google Ph.D. Fellowship
April 18, 2018

Fellowship to support work on theoretical tools for understanding network computations in nervous systems

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The Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience is a research center home to faculty, postdocs, and students who are working on theories of computation in the brain. We are one of several research centers within the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. The Redwood Center was established at Berkeley in July 2005 after originating as the non-profit Redwood Neuroscience Institute, founded by Jeff Hawkins. You can read more about the history of RNI here. Our Research page describes some of the things we are currently working on.

Our Goal

The objective of our research is to develop mathematical and computational models of the underlying neurobiological mechanisms involved in perception, cognition, learning, and motor function. We collaborate with experimental neuroscience labs in the design of experiments and in the analysis of neural data. We also train students at UC Berkeley in these ideas and methods. The resulting products, from basic research to software tools, are made accessible to the public, in the Berkeley tradition of open publication and open-source software.


Members of the Redwood Center come from a diverse set of academic backgrounds including neuroscience, vision science, psychology, physics, electrical engineering, computer science, and mathematics. We seek insight into neural computation using ideas from all of these fields as well as the interaction between theory and experiment.


The Redwood Center hosts seminars, workshops, distinguished visitors, and a journal club throughout the year. Our seminars occur on a regular basis and feature research spanning a wide variety of topics related to neuroscience and computation. One of our popular workshops is the CRCNS summer course on mining and modeling of neuroscience data, which you can learn more about here.

Research Grant Support

Research at the Redwood Center is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, Intel Corporation, and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, in addition to the Redwood Center Endowment.