Steven Shepard

Reveal Contact Info

PhD Student

Vision Science

Olshausen Lab

Current Research

My current research seeks to find structure in the neural computations that orchestrate perception and behavior. Structure may be embodied by simple principles and geometries that govern and generate neural dynamics. Similar to how geometric optics serve as fundamental principles that model how the eye optimally evolved to transform light from the natural world to form an image on the retina, my research investigates how other physical and computational primitives guide the construction of perception and action throughout higher levels of the brain.


My journey to the Redwood Center has been fueled by a genuine curiosity to understand what Alduous Huxley called the “Doors of Perception”. I studied neuroscience and electrical engineering at Stanford University to reverse engineer these “Doors”. My early research revolved around neuro-imaging/modulation techniques such as fMRI, TMS and EEG, even spending time at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Technology in Germany designing noninvasive electrodes for neurosurgeons.

At Stanford, I would also contribute to research elucidating the neural circuity underlying visual attention by mapping dopaminergic pathways between prefrontal cortical attention hubs and high level visual areas in Tirin Moore’s lab.

My research today involves modeling neural circuits and systems with cognitive dynamical systems. Other tangential research topics that pique my interests include photonic computing and epigenetics

Recreationally, I enjoy the arts, yoga, surfing, capoiera, and taking trips in nature.