Sophia Sanborn

Reveal Contact Info

PhD Student


Olshausen Lab

Current Research

My research at the Redwood Center centers on biophysical constraints on efficient computation with the ultimate goal of merging insights from biological solutions to representation learning with unsupervised learning techniques in machine learning.


My path to theoretical neuroscience began with an interest in formalizing the semantics of natural language, which I pursued as an undergraduate with the study of linguistics, philosophy of language, and meta-logic. Dissatisfied with the inflexible and deterministic tools used in these traditions and the lack of tethering to physical implementation, I turned to probabilistic modeling and machine learning, and found the subject I was really after in neural coding and the biophysical primitives of computation—seemingly several steps removed from linguistics, but (in my eyes) pinning down the same fundamental phenomena with a different framework and level of explanation. When I’m not sciencing, I’m out gathering and/or generating interesting sensory experiences.