Alexander Belsten

Reveal Contact Info

Incoming PhD student

Vision Science

Olshausen Lab

Current Research

I am an incoming Vision Science student and will focus on modeling how the visual system builds representations during retinal drift. A key problem that the visual system solves is how to factorize form, color, and motion. A corresponding mechanistic model should also perform this factorization while incorporating various complexities of the visual system, such as a non-uniform sampling lattice and temporal response characteristics of cones and retinal ganglion cells. I believe high-dimensional computing and sparse coding could play a part as a biologically plausible solution to this problem.


I grew up in a hamlet of Deerpark, New York, called Cuddebackville and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for my undergraduate degree in computer and systems engineering. In 2018, I was introduced to neuroscientific research at the National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies under the supervision of Dr. Peter Brunner. At NCAN, I had the privilege to develop new ways to interrogate the brain with brain computer interfaces and the latest intracranial and extracranial electrophysiological recording and stimulating hardware. My interest in the brain, computing, and mathematics led me to the multidisciplinary Redwood Center. In my free time, I like to explore the world, whether that be on bike or foot. I sometimes make small chairs too.